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Bedwetting on campouts?

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My son just crossed over into Boy Scouts and seems to be enjoying it. But he is afraid to go camping on his own because his bladder is slow to mature, and he's afraid he'll wet & the other boys would find out. I went with him on the last campout & made it sound like I was making him sleep in the tent with me. He likes to go, but he's even afraid to go to Summer Camp because he would be mortified if he wet there. Any suggestions? His older brother was the same way, come to find out, so was their dad...probably up until probably age 12 or so...my son is 11 1/2 now, and it's rarely a problem anymore...BUT sometimes it is....

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We've had several boys who have had this problem in the past, and it is always handled discreetly. There are several options...

 

1) There ARE medications available. Ask your doctor. The simplest one the boy takes about an hour before he goes to bed, and it suppresses the bedwetting. It IS prescription, but it does wonders for the Scout's self-confidence! The boys we've had who use it generally only use it for camp outs or sleep overs, but don't rely on it at home, unless there is a severe problem.

 

2) We have had a few boys who take large pull-up diapers with them. They slip it under their shirt when they go to the latrine just before bedtime. Then they remove it first thing in the morning. He takes a plastic bag with him to place it in, and either discreetly takes it to the garbage under a jacket, or an adult leader walks him to the latrine as his buddy and takes care of it when he emerges.

 

If your troop has troop tents the boys use for monthly campouts, and they use the same ones for backpacking, do NOT allow your son to use them unless he has the situation under control. Urine has a lot of salt in it, which is an attractant to bears. You might talk to troop leadership and explain why your son should take his own tent. Wet sleeping bags CAN be passed off as moisture on the inside of the tent, which the bag brushed against.

 

Are any of your son's friends (in Scouts) aware of the concern? We have one boy who's friend always tents with him. He is very discreet, too. Sympathetic and understanding.

 

Above all...encourage your son to go camping! It is too much fun to miss for ANY reason!

 

Best wishes and keep Scouting!

 

Ma Scout

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A couple of years ago I remember a similar problem with one young fellow. His parent took me aside and briefed me about the fellow's occasional urinary lapse. He tented alone and had a stash of absorbant pads. He would use one each night just in case of a problem. They were sort of like diaper material, but he used just a pad in front rather than the whole thing. None of the other scouts ever knew a thing.

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I have read about some of the ways to work this out. Assuming the the child uses some type of pullups, you can make arrangments with the leader. Have them place the pullups in there sleeping bag, allong with a plactic bag. They change into them while in the sleeping bag. In the morning, slip out of them, and put them into the sleeping bag. Have the leader dispose of them later in the day when they are out of the campsite.

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Though the boys we've had with this issue have been younger (Cubs instead of Boy Scouts) we have had to deal w/ this issue every year for the last 6 years (3 different boys over that time). Our boys have used a combination of the above suggestions - Nighttime Pull ups, a discreet tentmate, leader assistance in handling the matter. This has worked well for each of our boys. They were able to enjoy camp and other than their tentmate none of the other boys were even aware of the problem. Perhaps asking one of the Troop adults for help would point you towards a Scout that they know is discreet...or maybe you'll find there is another Scout w/ a similar issue or need for privacy. Nephew was "the discreet boy" in his Pack and in his Troop. He has already offered to tent w/ this year's Cub w/ the immature bladder (He's going w/ "his boys" as their Den Chief for Resident Camp).

 

Good Luck to both of you

YiS

Michelle

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My daughter, almost 17, still wets the bed almost very night. She doesn't camp, but does go to church camp every summer. She wears adult 'pull-ups', but some nights these aren't enough. When she goes to camp, I send her extra sheets and require her to take a mattress protecter (rubber sheet). So, I am very sympathetic to your situation. Her birth mother wet the bed even after they she was married.

 

I want to reply about the medication that they can prescribe for bedwetting. We tried it with my daughter for about three months and she gained almost 40 pounds.

 

You say that it is rarely a problem, but some times it is... When it is a problem, do you think that a 'pull-up' would prevent it being a problem. My daughter was able to be discreet and her friends not even know about it for several slimber parties. We were very surprised, but none of the girls ever gave her a hard tiem about it.

 

I hope that every thing works out for your son.

 

 

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We've had a boy with that issue as well. The parents let us know ahead of time. They would send an extra sleeping bag that one of the adults would keep in their vehicle. If something happened, we'd discreetly help him change out his gear the next day. I think it happened once or twice. It hasn't been an issue since.

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Having been a camp health officer, this was something that I have a bit of experience in. First and foremost, talk to the your son's physician about the problem and possible treatments (drug-based and non). In addition to using absorbent pads/diapers, one thing our camp physician recommend was to have those boys drink some soup a while before bed, as the salt content usually decreases urination. Likewise, try to have him avoid fluids, especially caffiene and other direutics before bed. Just a note of caution, make sure the fluid restriction does not cause dehydration (a worse problem). Feel free to contact me more about this and/or other camp health related isssues. Best wishes and peace always.

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I've dealt with boys throwing up more than once and I think that is far worse than wetting the bag. Sometimes I think more comes out than there is volume to the child, almost like special creation of vomit or something. I don't see how that much effluent can come out of a boy that small. The smell, depending on what they just heaved everywhere, seems to exaggerate the volume too, and chunks spewed everywhere mixed in vile fluid is enough to make most people wretch. Especially if the boy has been eating cheese - they are in tears, vomit everywhere, and cheese drooling out their noses and over their chins. Sometimes I wish I had the camera. It's almost a carnival atmosphere with the other boys whooping it up about the lumps and everything...and you have to clean both boy and tent... you might as well pretend you're a dog and roll in it yourself. Man, don't you love this stuff...that's what it's all about!

 

I can give you a personal anecdote on how I handled the situation once when the preemptive bedwetting measures didn't work.

A few years back, one morning a boy came to me early to inform me that his tentmate needed to talk to me in his tent. I left my campfire and walked over. The boy in the tent did not want anyone else around so I sent his tentmate to their patrol. Wet sleeping bag, but not too bad. I reassured him that I had done the same thing many times when I was a boy, that there was nothing to be ashamed of, and told him to put on some dry clothes and let me know when I could poke my head into the tent. A little while later we walked back and as I leaned into the tent I accidentally spilled a huge mug of coffee all over his sleeping bag. I apologized profusely and together we got the sopping bag out to rinse it out and dry it. The spare bag came in handy. When the other boys asked what was going on the boy quite honestly could tell them that the clumsy oaf of an ASM spilled coffee on his bag. I was the brunt of a few jokes after that and boys didn't want me anywhere near their tents, but it saved some embarassment for the boy. It was a deception, I know, but it worked.

 

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I would caution against restricting fluids at bedtime, as the more concentrated urine can act as an irritant and may make wetting more likely. (Besides, less concentrated urine does't smell nearly as bad as dark, concentrated urine!) Drinking *plenty* of water, and peeing frequently keeps the bladder much happier and obedient ;)

Anne in Mpls

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When I was young, the pills didn't work. Neither being told not to do that any more. Nor did being forced to eat pickles.

Sears used to sell a electrical device that would quickly train a child to wake before a wetting incident.

It had two metalized sheets with an insulating layer between them that the child slept on, under the regular sheet, when wetted enough current would flow to set off a battery opperated LOUD alarm. This unit could train a child in less than a month and I have heard of no relapses.

Why put up with pills for who knows how long when this works?

 

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