An injury is certainly frightening, and
"accidents" can cause children embarrassment and distress. The American
Urological Association (AUA) has experts available to talk about these
important urologic conditions parents may face this school year.
Testicular Injury (Torsion)
If your son complains of sudden and severe
testicular pain and swelling on one side, he may have testicular torsion—a
medical emergency that requires immediate attention. While very rare,
testicular torsion can be very serious if not treated promptly. Testicular
torsion occurs when the spermatic cord (a cord by which a testis is suspended in
the scrotum) gets twisted, resulting in a decrease in blood supply to the
testicle and surrounding structures. Torsion can result from scrotal trauma
(that see-saw injury) or strenuous exercise, but sometimes there is no obvious
cause. Any sudden onset of severe testicular pain is a cause for concern and
Impaired blood flow to the testicle can
lead to tissue death and result in a non-functioning testicle that could become
infected and ultimately require surgical removal. Take your son to the
emergency room immediately if he complains of sudden and severe testicular pain
with swelling on one side.
It's hard to be the only one who can't stay
for the sleepover because you wet the bed. Unfortunately, this is a common
problem for children, but it is a symptom—not a disease. The cause of enuresis,
or bedwetting, is almost never due to laziness or deliberate willfulness by the
child. So be supportive and understanding. Urinary tract infections or
structural or neurological problems could be causing your child to wet the bed.
Be sure to talk to a physician about your concerns.
There are several types of enuresis,
- Day and night enuresis
- Day-only enuresis
- Giggle incontinence (the complete or partial loss of bladder
control that occurs with laughing or giggling while awake)
- Nocturnal enuresis (classic bedwetting)
Children who wet the bed should receive a
full physical exam in order to rule out any serious urologic abnormalities. In
addition, a urinalysis and culture should be done to look for infection.
Access to the Bathroom
According to a University of Iowa study, 80
percent of teachers surveyed set specific times for students' bathroom breaks.
One-third asked a child requesting an unscheduled break to wait or "hold it."
These practices may be teaching children dysfunctional toilet habits and
causing them urinary problems, including urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Furthermore, few of the teachers surveyed
suspect an underlying health problem when a child wets his or her pants (16
percent) or urinates more frequently than normal (17 percent). In reality,
these conditions may be symptoms of other, more serious health problems and
should always be reported to parents. Additionally, parents should carefully
monitor and talk to their children about their urinary habits. Unusually
frequent urination, burning with urination, blood in the urine, incontinence
and urine with a bad odor are symptoms of a possible urinary tract infection
(UTI). Schedule a visit with your physician if your child experiences any of
As a parent, there are steps you can take
to ensure your child's urologic health at school. Discuss bathroom policies
with your child's teacher and guarantee that toilets are available, when
necessary. Encourage your child's teacher to report any unusual behavior, such
as frequent urination during the school day, as soon as possible.