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Bedwetting Treatments

By: Renee Mercer, MSN, CPNP

When you are ready to begin

Bedwetting alarms are a treatment tool designed to teach your child to respond to a full bladder by waking. Alarms come in several different styles: wearable alarms, wireless alarms, and pad-type alarms. While there is some variation in the styles of the alarms, they all function similarly. Each alarm has a moisture sensor component and an alarm component. When the child first begins to urinate the sensor will detect the moisture and sound the alarm.

Wearable Alarm Wireless Alarm alarm unit for nightstand

Wearable Alarms

A wearable alarm is a design in which the child wears the moisture sensor in or on their underwear or pajamas. This type of sensor will detect moisture almost immediately. The sensor is attached to an alarm box that is worn on the shirt. The sensor is attached to the alarm box with a cord that can be worn under the shirt. These are the best alarms for most children and our best units are the Malem and Malem ULTIMATE brands.

Wireless Alarms

A wireless alarm is one in which the sensor and the alarm unit communicate by a means other than a wire. The transmitter, which senses the moisture, is directly attached to the child's underwear. The signal is transmitted wirelessly to a unit that is across the room from the child. Once the alarm unit is activated, it is necessary to get out of bed to turn it off.

This type of alarm is useful for children who prefer not to wear a shirt to bed or ones who find wearing an alarm with a cord to be difficult to attach or uncomfortable. The Rodger Wireless alarm is our top-rated wireless model.

Pad-type Alarms

Bell-and pad alarms do not attach to the child in any way. The moisture sensor is in the form of a pad or mat that the child sleeps on top of. The pad detects moisture after urine has leaked onto it. The alarm unit is connected with a cord and usually sits on the bedside stand. This alarm requires a larger amount of urine before the sensor can detect moisture. The child must be on the pad for it to sense moisture. This alarm may be preferable for a child with special needs that is bothered by an alarm that is attached to their clothing. The Malem Bed-Side alarm or Wet-Call alarm are two popular models.

View a complete comparison chart of all our alarms. When choosing the right treatment for your child, individualizing your child's needs with the alarm features is helpful.

1. Hvistendahl, G.M. et al. The effect of alarm treatment on the functional bladder capacity in children with monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis. (2004). J of Urology, 171(6),p2611-2614.

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