Health Resources

Urinary Tract Infection (Children)

Signs & Symptoms

Children with a urinary tract infection (UTI) may exhibit various symptoms, including:

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Pain and burning sensation during urination
  • Abdominal or back pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Instance of bed-wetting or daytime wetting
  • Foul-smelling or cloudy urine
  • Presence of blood in urine
What causes it

UTIs in children are commonly caused by bacteria infecting the urinary tract.

The infection typically occurs in the lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder), known as cystitis. If the infection ascends to the kidneys, it becomes pyelonephritis, which is more serious. E. coli, an intestinal bacterium, is the most frequent cause of UTIs.

About the condition

UTIs can affect any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys and bladder. They are more prevalent in girls than boys.

If your child exhibits symptoms:

  1. Consult a doctor immediately. Administer prescribed medication as directed. If your child cannot tolerate the medication, inform the doctor.
  2. Increase your child's fluid intake to help dilute urine and alleviate discomfort.
  3. Notify your child's school about their need for frequent bathroom visits.
  4. Teach and reinforce good hygiene practices. Children should wash hands thoroughly post-toilet use. Girls should be taught to wipe from front to back.
  5. Ensure follow-up appointments with the doctor are kept.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options

A physical examination and urine sample analysis are standard. Urinalysis detects germs or pus, while a urine culture identifies the causative bacteria. This information guides the selection of an effective medication.

Treatment typically involves antibiotics, with the type and duration depending on the severity of the infection and the bacteria type causing the infection. Post-treatment, urine tests may be repeated to confirm the infection's resolution. Incompletely treatment can lead to recurrence or spread of the infection.

Care Tips

To prevent UTIs in children:

  1. Maintain cleanliness of the genital area.
  2. Teach proper toilet hygiene, especially for girls (wiping from front to back).
  3. Encourage wearing cotton underpants that are changed daily.
  4. Avoid using bubble baths or bath oils.
  5. Promote regular toilet habits and a diet that prevents constipation, including bran, whole wheat bread and raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid administering laxatives unless prescribed.
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