Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in kids. They happen when bacteria (germs) get into the bladder or kidneys. The team of pediatricians at Pediatrics Healthcare Associates, diagnose Urinary Tract Infections, and offer customized treatments to protect your child’s health. Call Caring Pediatrics today for expert UTI diagnosis and treatment.
A baby with a UTI may have a fever, throw up, or be fussy. Older kids may have a fever, have pain when peeing, need to pee a lot or have lower belly pain.
Kids with UTIs need to see a doctor. These infections won't get better on their own. UTIs are easy to treat and usually clear up in a week or so.
Taking antibiotics kills the germs and helps kids get well again. To be sure antibiotics work, you must give all the prescribed doses — even when your child starts feeling better.
What Are the Signs of a UTI?
Most UTIs happen in the lower part of the urinary tract — the urethra and bladder. This type of UTI is called cystitis. A child with cystitis may have:
pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing
an increased urge or more frequent need to pee (though only a very small amount of pee may be passed)
waking up at night a lot to go to the bathroom
wetting problems, even though the child is potty trained
belly pain in the area of the bladder (generally below the belly button)
foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood
An infection that travels up the ureters to the kidneys is called pyelonephritis and is usually more serious. It causes many of these same symptoms, but the child often looks sicker and is more likely to have a fever (sometimes with shaking chills), pain in the side or back, severe tiredness, or vomiting.
Who Gets UTIs?
UTIs are much more common in girls because a girl's urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. Uncircumcised boys younger than 1 year also have a slightly higher risk for a UTI.
Other risk factors for a UTI include:
a problem in the urinary tract (for example, a malformed kidney or a blockage somewhere along the tract of normal urine flow)
an abnormal backward flow (reflux) of urine from the bladder up the ureters and toward the kidneys. This is known as vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), and many kids with a UTI are found to have it.
poor toilet and hygiene habits
family history of UTIs
UTIs are easy to treat, but it's important to catch them early. Undiagnosed or untreated UTIs can lead to kidney damage.
How Are UTIs Treated?
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. If a child has severe pain when peeing, the doctor may also prescribe medicine that numbs the lining of the urinary tract. (This medication temporarily causes the pee to turn orange.)
Give prescribed antibiotics on schedule for as many days as your doctor directs. Keep track of your child's trips to the bathroom and ask your child about symptoms like pain or burning during peeing. These symptoms should improve within 2 to 3 days after antibiotics are started.
Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, but avoid beverages containing caffeine, such as soda and iced tea.
Can UTIs Be Prevented?
In infants and toddlers, frequent diaper changes can help prevent the spread of bacteria that cause UTIs. When kids are potty trained, it's important to teach them good hygiene. Girls should know to wipe from front to rear — not rear to front — to prevent germs from spreading from the rectum to the urethra.
School-age girls should avoid bubble baths and strong soaps that might cause irritation, and they should wear cotton underwear instead of nylon because it's less likely to encourage bacterial growth.
If you’re concerned about your child’s condition, please setup your appointment now to have your child evaluated.