Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Frequency-Urgency Syndrome

Definition

  • New onset of passing urine often while awake
  • This is called urinary frequency
  • Mainly occurs in 4 to 6 year olds

Call or Return If

  • Frequency of urination is not back to normal after using this advice for 1 month
  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • Wetting during the day
  • Drinking more than normal amounts of fluid
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Your child suddenly starts passing urine every 10 to 30 minutes. May pass urine as often as 30 to 40 times a day. Used to go every 2 to 4 hours.
  • Your child passes small amounts of urine each time.
  • Your child has no pain with urination.
  • Your child does not wet himself during the day.
  • Your child is not drinking more than normal.
  • Your child has been toilet trained.
  • The symptom goes away during sleep.

Cause

  • Usually, passing urine often is from inner tension. It means your child is worried about something. Sometimes, he is simply worried about the risk of wetting himself.
  • The symptom may begin within 1 or 2 days of a stressful event. A change in routine may also be a cause.
  • Passing urine often is not deliberate. Do not punish, criticize or tease your child. This is unfair and will worsen the symptom.
  • Although physical causes are rare, a urine sample needs to be checked.

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • Urine frequency can happen if a child thinks too much about peeing. The bladder then starts sending a signal of fullness before it is full.
  • The symptom is harmless and will go away on its own.
  • But, needing to find a toilet frequently and quickly can disrupt normal routines.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Tell Your Child that He is Healthy:
  • Tell your child that his body, kidneys and urine are fine.
  • Checking the urine once is a good idea. Checking his urine again and again can make him worry more.
Tell Your Child that He can Learn to Wait Longer to Pass Urine:
  • Promise that he will slowly get back to urinating every few hours, like before.
  • Tell him that he won't wet himself, which is a common fear.
  • If he has wet himself, tell him that can happen to anyone.
Help Your Child Relax:
  • Frequency of urination can be a reflection of inner tension.
  • Make sure your child has free time and fun time every day.
  • Increase the harmony within your home. This may make your child feel more secure.
  • Ask the school staff to help reduce any tensions there. Remove any limits on when a child can use the bathroom.
Look at Stressors for Your Child:
  • Try to figure out what is stressing your child. Common stressful events are:
  • School entry or a new school
  • Too much concern about staying dry at night
  • Wetting himself when peers are present
  • A sick parent or sibling
  • Talk about any stresses with your child and try to help him overcome them.
Ignore the Symptom of Frequency:
  • When your child is using the toilet often, don't comment on it. Comments make him worry more about the symptom.
  • Don't ask your child about his symptom or watch him pass urine.
  • Do not have your child do bladder-stretching exercises.
  • Your child does not need to tell you when he has urinated. You will have a general idea about whether he is getting better or not.
  • Stop all family from talking about the problem if your child is around.
  • If he brings up the topic, reassure him that he will slowly get better.
Avoid Bubble Bath and Other Irritants:
  • Bubble bath can cause frequent urination in children, especially girls.
  • Bubble bath can irritate the opening of the urinary tract.
  • Before puberty, be sure your child washes the genital area with water, not soap.
What to Expect:
  • Your job is to identify any stressors for your child. Help your child cope with it. If you can do this, his frequency will go away in 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Without treatment, the symptom usually gets better on its own in 2 or 3 months.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Article 2676