UTI in children: Here’s how to keep urinary tract infection in kids

Urinary tract infections can also affect children. Here are some ways you can keep urinary tract infections in children at bay.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) don’t just affect adults, they can affect children too! A urinary tract infection is a common, short-term condition that can be painful and uncomfortable for your baby, child or toddler, and can also have consequences. Did you know that about 8 percent of girls and 2 percent of boys will get UTIs by the age of 5? Your child’s UTI may go away with treatment, but you need to recognize the symptoms and signs of a UTI.

Health Shots has teamed up with Dr. Surabhi Siddhartha, Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai to learn more about UTIs in children.

UTIs in children are common

dr Siddhartha emphasizes: “They often occur in children because bacteria (germs) penetrate the bladder or kidneys. UTIs can steal a child’s peace of mind if not treated with the help of an expert. A baby with a urinary tract infection may show symptoms such as fever and vomiting, and may even become moody. It will take those kids about a week to fight off the infection and get back on track.”

UTIs in children are common. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Therefore, it is important for parents to be aware of the telltale signs, causes and severity levels of the problem so that they can all be addressed in a timely manner.

Also read: UTI: Here’s a pro tip to keep UTIs at bay

Symptoms of UTIs in children

Children who have contracted a UTI may experience pain, burning, or stinging when peeing. They may urinate frequently, have problems wetting even after the child is potty trained, stomach pain, foul-smelling urine and cloudy urine, the expert points out. In fact, the infection can travel up the ureters to the kidneys, which is called pyelonephritis and can be fatal. It is imperative that parents consult the doctor immediately after noticing the symptoms. So do not neglect these symptoms in your children.

Causes of UTI in children

Urinary tract infections are common in girls because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. Other factors that favor UTIs are kidneys or a blockage anywhere along the normal flow of urine), reflux of urine to the ureters and kidneys, and failure to follow poor toilet and hygiene habits. A family history of UTIs can also increase your chances of having them, the gynecologist claims.

Also read: 12 easy ways to keep your bladder healthy

diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis of urinary infection in children is made with urine tests, which help detect the bacteria. Following the doctor’s orders after diagnosis can help treat the infection.

Diagnosis and treatment of UTIs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As for the treatment, Dr. Siddhartha that the doctor will recommend antibiotics for the child. Parents should make sure that the child does not miss a dose. Here are some ways to avoid the infection as suggested by the expert:

  • Drink enough liquid
  • Avoid caffeine, soda, or iced tea
  • Make sure your child wipes from front to back to prevent spreading germs
  • from the anus to the urethra
  • Don’t take bubble baths or use chemical-laden soaps that could cause irritation down there
  • Wear cotton underwear instead of using other fabrics
  • Don’t take your child’s health lightly
  • Children need to avoid acidic foods that can irritate the bladder

If your child develops a urinary tract infection, be sure to consult a doctor to avoid problems.

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