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Bedwetting and incontinence

Bedwetting can be very common in young people, especially at Beaver and Cub age. It is important that the young person, no matter what age, does not feel that they cannot join in with Scouting activities, such as camps.

What is incontinence? 

Incontinence is the inability to control the functions of the bladder and/or bowel. Urinary Incontinence is a more common condition. Frequently it occurs only in bed, at night (Bedwetting or Nocturnal Enuresis).

There are many reasons why young people may experience bedwetting or incontinence, including:

Often, there is no underlying cause and it will resolve naturally with time. However, this does not mean that it should be dismissed. Some individuals with incontinence can feel guilty and withdraw into themselves. They may be open to ridicule by their peers and become isolated and depressed or develop other unusual behaviours. They may be reluctant to take part in activities with others or refuse to go on camps or expeditions.

Therefore, it is important to ensure they are not embarrassed or isolated, and can participate fully in Scouting activities.

Practical tips

Further guidance can be found in ERIC's 'Night's Away, No Worries' leaflet.

Supporting organisations


ERIC is a national charity that supports children with continence problems and campaigns for better childhood continence care.

Website: www.eric.org.uk


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW