Thursday, February 6, 2014

Do Bedwetting Alarms Really Help to Stop Bedwetting? By Dr. Jacob Sagie and Tal Sagie

It is not uncommon to see bedwetting alarms advertised both online and in a variety of health magazines these days. So, what are bedwetting alarms and just how well do they work?

In general, a bedwetting alarm is a device that sounds in reaction to a child wetting the bed. These work through the use of a closed electrical circuit and other components. While all bedwetting alarms are battery operated, they vary as to how they function. For example, there are three main types of alarms. These are: ones that connect to the body, wireless alarms, and “bell and pad” alarms.

Bedwetting Alarms that Connect to the Body           

Alarms that connect to the body consist of two parts. One part is the alarm component itself, which is typically attached to the child's pajamas. A wire runs from the alarm component to the moisture sensor, which is placed in the child's underwear near his or her sexual organ. There are both pros and cons to using this type of alarm. While this is a relatively inexpensive alarm type, the fact remains that corrosion to the device can occur over time. Furthermore, the child's skin could become irritated by the device connected to the body, or he could accidentally disconnect the wire in his sleep. In some cases, the alarm's sound may be accidentally dimmed as a result of blankets covering it.

Wireless Bedwetting Alarms

This type of alarm does not involve any actual wires running from the alarm component to the sensor, which eliminates the chance of the child accidentally disconnecting anything in his sleep. This alarm is able to operate without the use of wires because it uses radio transmitters and receivers instead. The receiver is attached to the child's pajamas or placed near his bed, whereas the transmitter is located on the child's lower abdomen near the genital area. When the child wets the bed, a signal is sent to the receiver and the alarm sounds. However, with this type of alarm, parents must ask themselves whether or not it is safe to have a radio transmitter so close to the child's sexual organ.

“Bell and Pad” Bedwetting Alarms

Two parts make up this alarm system: a control unit (alarm component) and a plastic moisture detection pad. The pad is placed on the child's bed underneath the bed sheet itself, whereas the alarm component itself is connected to the pad using a small wire. Parents tend to enjoy this option because it does not involve placing anything near the child's genitals. However, this also tends to be a more expensive alarm options when compared to other types on the market.

Some parents unfortunately stop using bedwetting alarms on their children after a short time because the child fails to wake up when the alarm goes off. However, it is important for parents to remember that the goal of using a bedwetting alarm is not to wake the child up at night but to teach the child restraint. Even when the child does not physically wake up, the alarm sound can activate his subconscious reflex to help end bedwetting.

Parents can also be encouraged to know that, 40% to 50% of the time, bedwetting alarms are proven to be effective in helping to end bedwetting. The success rate can be as high as 90% when bedwetting alarm treatment is coupled with therapeutic treatment techniques, which will be discussed in detail in a later article.

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