9-Year-old Daughter Wets Pants When Laughs

Updated on September 24, 2011
J.R. asks from Carterville, IL
11 answers

My 9-year-old daughter has accidents when she laughs hard. She has normal bladder control otherwise, doesn't wet the bed or have trouble going for long periods of time without using the bathroom. My husband and I try to get her to go to the bathroom often when she is in a situation where an accident is likely to occur (playing with friends, at a party), but this doesn't always solve the problem, and she is reluctant to listen to us in the midst of having fun. Sometimes even when she has recently used the bathroom, she wets her pants. I'm afraid that she is going to get terribly embarrassed one of these days (aside from the mess). The "accidents" usually happen a few times a week, sometimes multiple times at the same occassion. The doctor just shrugs his shoulders and suggests Kegel exercises and more frequent bathroom trips. Wondering if anyone else has this problem and if anyone has any good advice!

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answers from Chicago on

My 9-year old does the same thing. Normal bladder control, etc. Sometimes she forgets to go to the bathroom and if she laughs hard she'll wet her pants.

One day she was at gymnastics and she was laughing and she wet herself. Because she was in a leotard and sitting on the mat, everyone saw. We had to get a custodian to clean up the mat and since I was working she had to wait on the sidelines in a wet leotard. She was very embarrassed.

Since then she ALWAYS goes to the bathroom before gymnastics (without me having to remind her) and she's more careful about remembering to go. I felt so bad for her that she was embarrassed at gymnastics class, but sometimes it takes those hard lessons for a change to happen!

She'll live through the embarrassment. Sometimes life has to do the teaching when they won't listen to Mom and Dad!

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answers from Charlotte on

Sonds like me when I cough or sneeze! Or don't get to the bathroom on time. Or get out of the shower. Or hear water run. You get the picture!

It doesn't sound to me like the doctor you are talking to is a pediatric urologist. I would try to find a woman ped urologist and get a second opinion.

Perhaps now is the time to introduce her to mini pads. That can help with the embarrassment.

Don't just let it go. It can damage her self-image, truly.


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answers from Johnstown on

I think that happens with most of us if we laugh hard enough and have a full-enough bladder. Her bladder is still maturing. It's normal.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Oh wow, my 9 year old son has the same problem! It is disheartening and somewhat frustrating for us, really wish we could figure out a way to solve this- I am seriously considering getting him those "diapers" they have for older kids who wet the bed- at least then if he does have an accident everyone else doesn't have to know it. He potty trained on the early side for boys and did fine with it. He did have some trouble with his bowels for awhile so going to the bathroom ( #2) was traumatic when he was younger until we discovered he has a gluten intolerence, but I really don't think they are related.



answers from Los Angeles on

My 9 year old has done this since potty training! When she feels the urge to go she has like a 10 sec time frame to run to the bathroom or she will wet her pants. Until recently she harldy ever made it w/o an accident. Not like a big puddle but def not a drip either! Also when she sneezes, not so much laughing, she has to hold it down there or again she'll wet herself a bit.

Kegal exercises have helped with this, probably why she doesn't wet herself when she's on the way to the bathroom so much anymore. I just told her that when she sits down & starts to go then stop going & hold it in for a a few secs then let it go then stop going again & hold it in for a few secs then do this over & over until she's completly done. I have to remind her to do it everytime she's headed for the bathroom but we kinda make it a game, try to beat your last record & she gets 2 jelly beans if she tells me she did it. At first she could only do it 1c or twice but after a while she could do it again & again no problem. Also she take these tablets by hylands for bladder control (I think it's hylands?) I went to my local health/whole foods store they picked out a few things for her, I wrote them all down & started with the least expensive & am trying each for a few months then will pick the best one. I think those combined with the bathroom kegal exercises have helped greatly. Well I hope you find something that works for your little girl!



answers from Cleveland on

If your doctor isn't worried about this, and you trust him, I would just get some pads for her. I have the same problem (since I've had children) and when I go to a party or out with my girlfriends, and know I'll be laughing a lot, I just use a thin maxi pad (I like the Always brand) and don't have to worry.

Hopefully she will outgrow this, as her body matures.



answers from Columbus on

Yup, I have a dd that is 11 yrs old. She has the same problem. I have no advice for you as we just deal with it. It gets less and less as she gets older. Also, she is starting to know when to go and when to stop in the situations and go to the bathroom. She is definitly NOT alone tho!!



answers from Columbus on

The best thing you can do for her at this time is to find a UroGynecologist. I had similar problems myself, and was referred to a urologist by my family doctor. While I am sure that he was proficient in his field, when I went to his office, I only saw male patients in the waiting room. During my exams, I kind of felt like he didn't quite "get" the female side of things, he was strictly urology. By chance, I found out that my Gynecologist also specializes in UroGynecology. He explained things a lot better, especially about how the two systems affected each other even though they had two different functions.
Anyway, back to the things your daughter is experiencing. At her age, things are starting on their way to maturing. Whether there are outward, obvious signs or not, the "female" changes internally can definitely affect the plumbing. While it seems lke such a young age, apparently girls are maturing sooner than they did in days past. My daughter at age 9 had fully developed including having regular, full monthly periods. She also had problems similar to your daughter's. If we had known then about the combination of the gynecologist-urologist, things might have been a lot easier for her. Check the yellow pages, and look for a doctor or practice that specializes in both fields. BTW, our insurance covered our doctor as a preferred provider.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I feel your pain. My daughter is 8 and I have the same exact problem. I am ready to really lose my mind with it. She will just go to the bathroom, and will be playing hard and if her brother makes her laugh, she loses it. I don't know what to do. Other than when we see she is in a situation that it is likely, I tell her to stop and go the bathroom. It still doesnt help.



answers from Muncie on

Sometimes being constipated can affect the bladder so make sure this isn't a problem for her. Your doctor sounds like he is right on in his advice.



answers from Bloomington on

My sister used to do this all the time from the time she was probably around 9 or 10 until she was in her mid teens. She is currently 19 and has no problem any more but it would be like every time she laughed really hard she couldn't control it and would pee. I don't think it is anything that you should worry about because it will hopefully go away.