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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: 5 year old daughter and "nervous" bladder

 Lasher - Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:14 am


I am very concerned about my 5 year old daughter. A while back she developed an urgent need to urinate but when she would get to the bathroom she would just sit there. Sometimes she would go, other times nothing, or just a drible. I had her to a doctor who did a urine test. He said it was inconclusive but treated her for a tract infection anyway. Things did not improve so I had her to another doctor. Another urine test revealed no infection. He checked her over and deemed her healthy. He said she seemed to have a nervous bladder and explained that in situations that cause anxiety she would feel the need to urinate. Alot of the symptoms subsided and she can play all day long without this problem. However, as soon as we try to get her on the schoolbus she freaks out and needs to pee. Even if she's the bus aproaching this happens. it's the same after school on the way home, and to a lesser extent when she gets in any vehicle. I believe she is thinking about it obsessivley and the thought of being trapped in a vehicle with no bathroom is aggravating the issue. Please, I desparatley need advice. She's missing school and this is becoming a very difficult issue to work around.

Thank you in advance.

 Dr. Heba Ismail - Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:02 am

Dear Jason,
If it's become an obsesive thought and she has started missing school, then you may need more than just advice, you may need professional help with her.
A child psychiatrist would help her through by deconditioning and behavioural changes.
However, if that is not immediately possible, you may try the following:
First of all, do not be angry with her or tell her off when she freaks out. Accept this behaviour as normal for children her age. You can even tell her that, and tell her that she'll eventually grow out of it, as most of us have.
Try first taking her on short trips in a car or bus, then gradually lengthen the trip. The more she sees herself not needing to rush to the toilet, the more self confidence she'll gain.
Try also positive re-inforcement when she doesn't freak out. Buy her a chocolate or take her to the park, whatever she likes doing.

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