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HEALTH   -   HEALTHY & HAPPY
Healthy & Happy
September, 2012 - Issue #95
Children's Hospital Los Angeles Develops Unique Care Program to Treat Urinary Tract Infections & Bedwetting in Children
In a new program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, biofeedback and video games are helping children combat "Dysfunctional Voiding," a condition where children delay going to the bathroom, leading to frequent urinary tract infections, frequent urination and day-time or nighttime wetting. "Patients and their families are really happy with the results," says Pediatric Urologist Steve Kim, who practices at Children's Hospital Los Angeles-Valencia and is an assistant professor of clinical urology at USC's Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Kim and a team of physicians and nurses are using the advanced potty training techniques at the hospital's new Voiding Improvement Program, which opened in May at the hospital's facility in Los Angeles. "Dysfunctional Voiding is a condition where children are not urinating or defecating properly because of improper muscle function," he says. "Pressures and distractions for kids: television, iPads, video games, regular play - can cause children to delay going to the bathroom." Untreated, it can become a learned behavior and lead to painful urinary tract infections, constipation, frequent urination, leaking and wetting, affecting the child and family's quality of life, he says. "Our Voiding Improvement Program sees children as young as 3 or 4 up to their teens. We assess and develop tailored programs, like setting regular potty times and teaching proper hygiene. We also may prescribe medication. I also don't advise parents to push potty training; it should be taught when the kids are ready for it." Biofeedback helps kids gain an awareness of their "pelvic floor muscles" that are used for going to the bathroom. Under supervision, the kids control a fun computer game with non-invasive sticker electrode patches attached around the pelvic region and the buttocks, learning to identify and direct the proper muscles. "We seek to help children achieve dryness in about six sessions, which really improves quality of life," Kim says.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles-Valencia is staffed by 12 pediatric physicians in 11 specialty services. Learn more at www.chla.org/valencia or call 362-1240. To reach the Voiding Improvement Program log onto www.chla.org/voidingimprovementprogram or call 323-361-2247.
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