According to the International Children’s Continence Society, frequent urination in kids is defined as urinating 8 or more times during the day in a 5 yearold child or older. Often, frequent urinationis not a serious problem, even though it requires proper medical evaluation, regardless of the amount of urine eliminated every time. Remember that urination more than 8 times a day even when not accompanied by other signs and symptoms should be evaluated by a pediatrician.
Symptoms of Frequent Urination in Children
Common signs and symptoms of frequent urination include:
- Frequent urination occurs in children over the age of 5 years old.
- Recurrent cycles of frequent urination occur over a year or two.
- The child has no pain when urinating.
- There are no signs of any infection.
- Urinary incontinence is not present.
- The child urinates only small amounts of urine.
- The child does not drink excessive amounts of fluid during the day.
- The child urinates more frequently while awake, even though he/she might urinate during the night as well.
- The child has no changes in the bowel behavior.
- The child urinates frequently during the day, even every 5 to 10 minutes. A child can urinate up to 40 times a day, about 3 to 4 times every hour.
When Should I Call My Child’s Healthcare Provider?
You should call your child’s healthcare provider in the following cases:
- Your child also experiences pain and a burning sensation when urinating frequently.
- Your child wets himself/herself during the day.
- Your child drinks excessive fluids during the day.
- You are concerned about the health of your child, etc.
What Are the Causes?
There are many reasons that can lead to frequent urination in kids. If your child is drinking excessive amounts of fluid during the day, it is normal to urinate more frequently. Constipation can also be linked to frequent urination. Some of the most common causes of frequent urination include:
- Diabetes mellitus – is one of the causes that can lead to frequent urination in children. Children with diabetes mellitus besides urinating more frequently also urinate in large amounts, start to lose weight and drink plenty of fluids during the day. Testing for diabetes is necessary and if diabetes mellitus is the cause, a presence of glucose and ketones in the urine is revealed in urinalysis.
- Voiding dysfunction – occurs when the child is too busy with other things and doesn’t empty the bladder completely and on time when he/she has a physiological need to do so. In order to avoid this problem, encourage your child to completely empty the bladder every two to three hours.
- Balanitis or vulvovaginitis –is an inflammation of the opening of the penis in boys, while vulvovaginitis is an inflammation of the vaginal area in girls. Balanitis in boys and vulvovaginitis in girls can cause frequent urination. Bubble baths or not wiping correctly is the most common causes that lead to an inflammation of the genital area of the kids.
- Pollakiuria – is a common cause of frequent urination in kids, even though the real cause of it is not known. Pollakiuria mostly occurs in children between the ages of four and six years old, when a child urinates many times during a day and up to 30 or 40 times daily. Urination during the night also occurs. No other signs and symptoms are associated with frequent urination, and the urinalysis is normal as well. There is no specific trigger that leads to pollakiuria, even though it is believed that stress plays a significant role. Pollakiuria tends to resolve within a couple of weeks or months even without treatment.
- Urinary tract infections – are common among children as well, also leading to frequent urination. However, urinary tract infections are also accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as painful urination, a burning sensation while urinating, an urge to urinate, back pain, cloudy urine, bloody urine, nausea, fever, etc. Urinalysis and urine culture are important examinations which will show a presence of bacteria in the urine, which has caused the urinary infection. Urinary tract infections require antibiotics for the treatment.
- Diabetes insipidus – is a rare medical condition which is characterized by frequent urination due to a lack of ADH, the antidiuretic hormone or by nephrogenic diabetes insipidus when the kidneys don’t respond to the ADH produced by the human body. ADH is a hormone produced from the human body which allows the kidneys to absorb water. If this hormone is absent or if the kidneys don’t respond to this hormone, then normally the kidneys can’t conserve the water, leading eventually to frequent urination.
Treatment for Frequent Urination
- Urinary tract infections are the most common cause that leads to frequent urination in kids. Antibiotics are recommended in these cases for the treatment of this infection. Once the infection is treated, the problem with frequent urination will resolve.
- If diabetes mellitus is the cause of frequent urination, lifestyle and diet changes are important, accompanied by regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, diabetic medications administration or insulin injections administration.
- If improper hygiene leads to balanitis or vulvovaginitis, teaching the child how to correctly keep personal hygiene of the genital area will help solve the inflammation and prevent frequent urination from occurring in the future.
- Help your child relax, as frequent urination is often associated with an inner tension. If your child has many activities during the day, try changing the schedule so he/she can have more time to relax. Restore the sense of security in your child by increasing the harmony and the happiness in your family.
- Let your child know that he/she is physically healthy and normal even though he/she might urinate more frequently every now and then.
- Let your child know that he/she can learn how to wait longer before urinating. If your child has wet himself/herself, reassure him/her that this is something normal which occurs to other children as well.
- If your child is stressed out, and if frequent urination is a problem that your child is dealing with, try to figure out the possible reasons behind this problem. Common stressful events that can lead to frequent urination in kids include a sick parent, a sick sibling, death of a family member, marriage problems, accidents, school entry, going into a new school, etc. Try talking to your child about the problem and his/her fears.
- Avoid bubble baths as they often irritate the opening of the urinary tract, resulting in frequent urination. Avoid other irritants as well.