Some children have the sudden onset of frequent urination every 10 to 30 minutes. Small amounts of urine are passed each time. There is no associated painful urination, daytime wetting or other urinary tract symptoms. The frequency disappears during sleep. The peak age for this problem is 4 or 5 years. These children have already been toilet trained. Frequent urination usually is caused by emotional tension. Occasionally it's due to excessive intake of fluids. Physical causes are rare. If you think your child has frequency related to stress, here's what you can do to help:
- First: Help your child relax in general. Make sure your child has free time and fun time every day. If he is over-scheduled with activities, try to lighten the commitments. Increasing the happiness and harmony within your home will usually restore your child's sense of security. Gain the school or day care staff's cooperation to reduce any tensions there, such as bathroom restrictions.
- Second: Try to identify specific stressors and do something about them. Meet with other family members and try to identify a stressful event that may have occurred 1 or 2 days before the frequency began. Also ask school or day care staff for ideas. Some common areas are: A death in the family, a serious accident, tension in the marriage, illness in a parent or sibling, school entry, a new school or wetting one's self in the presence of peers.
- Third: Reassure your child that he can learn to wait longer. Reassure him that he won't wet himself, which is a common worry. Tell him that his body and urine are fine. Tell him that he will gradually get back to passing his urine every 2 to 3 hours, like he used to.
- Fourth: Ignore the symptom of frequency. Don't ask your child about his symptom because this reminds him that you are worried. Don't collect any urine samples or measure volumes. Don't have your child participate in any bladder stretching exercises. Don't time the intervals between voidings. The less said about it, the less your child will be apprehensive about it. If your child brings up the topic, reassure him that he will gradually get better.
- Finally: If a stress is identified and dealt with, the frequent urination will usually resolve in 1 to 4 weeks.
If you think your child may need to be seen, call your healthcare provider for advice
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.