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Urinary incontinence is a normal transitional phase between infantile and adult lower urinary tract function. Consequently, wetting disorders often are considered a necessary nuisance associated with the growing years. It usually is tolerated until the child begins to lag behind his or her peers in achieving a state of dryness. Parental concerns about voiding are common and often supersede the child’s anxiety. It is important that health professionals are knowledgeable about the normal acquisition of daytime and nighttime urinary control and significant departures from those normal patterns.

The International Children’s Continence Society has provided standardization and definitions of lower urinary tract dysfunction in children. Enuresis is defined as normal voiding that occurs at an inappropriate time or involuntarily in a socially unacceptable setting. The term commonly is associated with nighttime wetting, but it is important to distinguish nocturnal enuresis from diurnal...

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