Toilet Trouble: Wetting Accidents
These typically happen when a kid hasn't gone to the bathroom in a while and becomes overexcited. She has a full bladder and gets so psyched about something ("A pony at the party!") that she can't control herself and pees in her pants. A child may also have accidents if she's been chronically holding it in, says Steve J. Hodges, M.D., professor of pediatric urology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "The bladder is a muscle just like any other," he says. "If she's been doing the potty dance all day, every day, she's constantly contracting her bladder." This makes the muscle thicker and the bladder's capacity smaller. Pretty soon, it'll start contracting with less warning and more force -- and your kid ends up with wet pants.
The solution is to make sure she goes to the bathroom regularly. Kids this age often don't realize they need to go until it's too late. You don't have to escort her to the bathroom every ten minutes, but be aware of the last time she went (and how much she's had to drink). As she gets older, she'll become more in touch with her body's timing.