Bed-wetting at Camp Survival Guide for Scout or Summer Camp

Kids need not fear bed-wetting at camp.  With some simple tips, your child can have a great time at Boy Scout or summer camp even if they wet the bed.

Bed-wetting doesn’t have to keep your child from attending a sleepover summer camp. By following some of the same procedures as sleepovers at a friend’s house, your child can keep their bed-wetting in check and not be anxious or worried about having an accident with all of their friends around.

Many Kids Live Through Bed-wetting At Camp

Although it may seem like it sometimes, your child is not the only one who deals with wetting the bed.  Nurses, counselors and staff members have had probably hundreds of kids attend camp over the years that have also wet the bed and suffered from bed-wetting or enuresis.  It is a good idea to be up-front and honest with the staff at the camp about the bed-wetting problem, so they can be aware of the situation and can help your child handle it discretely. Assure your child they are definitely not alone.

Before going to camp, most children have to have some kind of physical, or the very least a medical form filled out by their pediatrician or your general doctor.  These forms are pretty thorough, and there is usually a checkbox on the form that specifically lists bed-wetting.  Camp staff take these forms very seriously, and most camps treat the medical forms as strictly confidential, so if your child has a bedwetting problem, and they will probably still be bed-wetting at camp, then make sure the box is checked and clearly marked on the medical form.

Bedwetting alarms are obviously not going to work at camp, but other products you use at home will work just as well at camp as they do at home.

Leaders and counselors are aware the best way to prevent bed-wetting at camp is to make sure each child uses the restroom appropriately.  This includes making sure and reminding their campers to use the bathroom before they go to bed. Rather than single out individual children, there is usually just a group reminder that “lights out” will be in a few minutes and everybody needs to make sure they go.   Even kids who don’t wet the bed will seldom take the chance of doing so, and will make one last visit to the restroom before bed.

Another tip from home to bring along on the outing is to limit fluids after a certain time in the evening. There is some debate about whether or not limiting drinks (especially water) is a good idea, but having a large drink of water before bedtime is definitely not recommended under any circumstances.

Using Disposable Products to Handle Bed-wetting At Camp

Using disposable underpants such as Goodnites or Underjams, or sleeping bag liners at camp can make children just as nervous as wetting the bed itself. Kids are always afraid they will be “found out” and ridicules for wetting the bed at camp.  But these products can be used discretely and privately with the help of the camp leader.

Disposable underpants can be placed put on and taken off while your child is in their sleeping bag.  In the morning, the used underpant can be placed in a plastic baggie and disposed of either by the child or an adult in a trash can away from the camp site or cabin, so it won’t accidentally be discovered. It is important, especially for kids who wet the bed at camp, to take a shower regularly while at camp to keep themselves clean and odor-free.

A sleeping bag liner specifically designed for bed-wetting at camp or on sleepovers has been designed and produced by the company who runs bedwettingstore.com.  This liner resembles a normal sleeping bag liner many people use for colder nights, and can be rolled up with the sleeping bag so it is ready to use.  The downside of the product is that it is not disposable.  It really should be used in addition to a disposable underpant and be used for additional protection.

Medications and General Tips

Some parents start the use of DDAVP to help control bed-wetting for things such as camps or sleepovers.  The use of medications should be strictly observed by the camp’s nurse and staff.  The pros and cons of using DDAVP for bed-wetting are out of the scope of this article, but will be discussed in a different article.  Another thing to know, if your child is sleeping in a cabin, most bunkbeds in cabins either have a mattress completely encased in a plastic covering by the manufacturer, or the camp has enclosed them in a heavy-gauge plastic.  Mattresses are expensive, so camps don’t take chances, especially when bed-wetting at camp is a common occurrence.

In conclusion, for kids dealing with bed-wetting at camp, using common-sense techniques for reducing the chance of wetting the bed, along with a protective pant such as Goodnites, will help your child enjoy everything a summer camp has to offer. Attending a summer camp is an experience children remember for the rest of their lives, whether they deal with bed-wetting at camp or not.

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