Are you worried about your child’s increasing trips to the bathroom? Frequent urination is not always a serious problem but there are several factors that can be responsible for this condition.
Frequent urination or urinary frequency, as it is more commonly known is a condition in which a child experiences the need to urinate often. In normal circumstances children tend to urinate more than adults as they have smaller bladders that process fluids faster than adults. Therefore it is normal for them to urinate more but if your child is visiting the toilet at least 10 – 30 times in a day then he/she is probably displaying symptoms of frequent urination. Bed-wetting and frequent urination at night also points towards this condition.
If a child suffers from this condition then it can be a sign of abnormality in the urine of the child, infection by bacteria, or presence of blood in urine. While often the cause may be behavioral, there can be more serious underlying causes which need to be treated immediately. It is always advisable to consult a pediatrician or a urologist who may prescribe a urinalysis to identify the causes for the condition.
Stress and Tension
More often than not urinary frequency in children can be a result of emotional upheaval. If the child is feeling pressurized, then he or she may exhibit this condition within a day or two of the trigger situation. It can also result from a change in the child’s routine which can cause stress. In such a scenario, it is important that parents are patient and try to understand what is troubling the child.
Behavioral Causes: Frequent urination can also be a result of some behavioral reasons. Many children exhibit an unnecessary intake of fluids which results in urinary frequency. If your child throws a tantrum on being asked to restrict fluid intake and shows a reduction in trips to the bathroom, then this could be a cause. In boys of the age group 3 – 4 years, there is a tendency to be fascinated by urination and a need to stop and urinate frequently. This is a behavioral quirk and the habit will be discontinued in 6 months or so. Many children also learn a smart way of dodging classes by getting into a cycle of going to the restroom and drinking water immediately after, so that in an hour or so another trip can be made to the restroom. Most teachers will grasp the situation quickly and put an end to the habit.
Diabetes Mellitus: The most common fear that most parents have when their children display symptoms of frequent urination is that the child is suffering from juvenile diabetes. Unlike in other conditions that can result in the condition, if your child is suffering from diabetes, then he/she would also suffer from conditions like polyuria, polyphagia (eating more than usual), polydipsia (drinking more fluids than usual), and weight loss. The child will be tested for sugar levels to check for diabetes.
Diabetes Insipidus: Diabetes Insipidus is not a very common cause of frequent urination. If your child suffers from this form of diabetes, then he/she probably suffers from a deficiency of anti diuretic hormone (ADH), which results in the dysfunction of kidneys and loss of their ability to conserve water, extra production of urine, and excessive thirst.
Pollakiuria: Also known as Extraordinary Daytime Urinary Frequency Syndrome, pollakiuria is common in children in the age group of 3 – 8 years. There are no other symptoms of this disorder. Sometimes related to stress, if your child suffers from this condition, then he/she is probably experiencing frequent urination during daytime with production of small amounts of urine on each occasion. There is no treatment and the condition recedes in a few months.
Urinary Tract Infection: A very common cause, urinary tract infections are a reason for frequent urination in women as well. If your child is suffering from UTI, then he/she would not only experience urinary frequency but also complain of urgency (the need to urinate quickly), dysuria (burning and pain during urination), cloudy or bloody urine, fever, back pain, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Voiding Dysfunction: Frequent urination in kids is also noticed due to this condition wherein, some children do not empty their bladder completely because they are afraid that they may miss something or they want to rush back to play. They may urinate just enough to relieve the pressure on the bladder but not completely. If this becomes regular then the sphincter muscle that helps you with bladder control will become overactive making it harder to urinate completely. If you think that your child is exhibiting signs of voiding dysfunction then put him on a schedule so that he goes to the bathroom every 2 – 4 hrs.
Vulvovaginitis: If you have a daughter then vulvovaginitis or the inflammation around the vaginal area can be a cause of frequent urination. The irritation of skin around the vaginal area causes it to show symptoms similar to symptoms of UTI. This irritation of skin can be due to improper wiping of the area or poor toilet hygiene, taking bubble baths, contact with irritants, etc.
The treatment, very obviously, depends upon the cause of the condition. If the reason for frequent urination is a urinary tract infection, then your child will need a course of antibiotics, unless the infection clears up. Insulin therapy works as a treatment if your child is experiencing urinary frequency due to the onset of diabetes mellitus. In case of vulvovaginitis, the doctor may prescribe topical antifungal or anti-bacterial creams. If your child is exhibiting symptoms of the condition, then monitor his/her liquid intake. Ensure that your child is maintaining proper toilet hygiene. Do visit a specialist or your pediatrician for proper and timely diagnosis. If the cause is behavioral, talk to your child and explain things to him/her properly, and ensure that you give it some time.
Frequent urination is a symptom of many other serious underlying diseases, and it is important to diagnose the disease to ensure that your child does not suffer.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.