The early grade-school years are a great time for kids to further their independence, but that doesn’t mean they’re all grown up. Like it or not, some not-so-fun health and safety concerns will follow them into this time period. The following are common health questions from parents for this age group.
How do we put an end to bedwetting?
If your child has a problem with bedwetting, you’re not alone. Millions of kids over six are in the same boat. In fact, bedwetting is a condition that can run in families.
The underlying problem:
Your child’s brain and bladder aren’t communicating well. The brain can’t tell the bladder to hold it, and the bladder can’t tell the brain to wake up.
- Bedwetting alarms: By waking your child at the first sign of wetness, these alarms help strengthen the link between brain and bladder.
- Time: Bedwetting usually goes away over time. If it persists into the tween and teen years it’s often called nocturnal enuresis.
- Talk to your doctor: While there’s no single cause, your doctor can explore potential aggravators like stress, hormones, and diabetes.
What doesn’t work:
- Restricting water at night - It may lessen the amount, but ultimately the body will “go” until it learns to wake up or hold it instead.
- Medicines – these temporary fixes won’t solve the underlying problem. They are best used as a support to training programs and alarms.
- Shame – Doctors believe there may be a connection between stress and bedwetting. Shaming your child may only make the situation worse.
When can we ditch the booster seat?
Your child may be eager to grow up, but don’t be too hasty to ditch the booster seat. Studies show that child restraints reduce the risk of injury by 60% compared to seatbelts alone.
Rules for booster seats:
- 8 years old: Colorado law requires boosters through a child’s eighth birthday.
- 57” tall: For smaller kids, it’s best to keep the booster until they are tall enough to fit a standard safety belt: 57” (4 feet, 9 inches tall).
For a complete guide on car seats, boosters, and how a seat belt should fit, read our Car Safety Guide.
Is my child really too sick to go to school?
Missing school isn’t convenient for anyone, but some illnesses are better left at home. If you’re not sure whether to send them in or take a sick day, here are some good rules of thumb:
- Fever: Kids should be fever-free for 24 hours before going to school
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea: flu symptoms should stay at home
- Little appetite or energy: rest at home is required
- Pain: could signal a more serious problem
- Acting “off” or different: a good indicator that they need observation
If, however, a child’s symptoms won’t hinder his or her participation in school activities, they should be good to go.
Is lice avoidable or a rite of passage?
School is a great place for teaching many kids at once. It’s also a great place to share germs all at once. Yes, lice included. If you get the dreaded lice email from your school, here is what you should know:
- This is a scalp infection of tiny gray bugs (lice) and small white eggs (nits).
- Only the live bugs can be shared, not the eggs.
- Lice are typically shared via brushes, pillows and hats
- Your child can return to school after 1 treatment of anti-lice shampoo
- Your child can attend school if they only have nits, but no live lice.
To avoid lice, teach your kids to never put other people’s things on or in their hair.
Prepare for what’s next
Get a sneak peek at the parenting concerns coming your way next in our teen and tween FAQs. And don’t forget to check out those common concerns that affect kids at every age on our Timeless FAQs page.
Want parenting answers right in your inbox?
For more answers and advice, subscribe to the Just Ask Children’s digital newsletter. It’s the only parenting advice email that comes straight from the experts you trust at Children’s Hospital Colorado—one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation.