Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
How Is A Urinary Tract Infection Treated
Symptoms of a UTI generally go away within 24 to 72 hours of starting treatment.
The doctor will prescribe antibiotics for your child. Make sure your child takes ALL of the medication even if he or she starts feeling better.
You can do the following at home to relieve your childs symptoms:
Give your child over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to manage pain and fever. Do not give ibuprofen to an infant who is less than 6 months of age, or to a child who is dehydrated or constantly vomiting. Do not give aspirin to a child with a fever. This can put your child at risk of a serious illness called Reyes syndrome.
Ask your doctor about other medications that can be prescribed to relieve painful urination.
Give your child plenty of fluids to drink. Cranberry juice may help relieve some pain symptoms.
What Causes A Bladder Infection
Most often a bladder infection is caused by bacteria that are normally found in the bowel. The bladder has several systems to prevent infection. For example, urinating most often flushes out bacteria before it reaches the bladder. Sometimes, your childs body cant fight the bacteria and the bacteria cause an infection. Certain health conditions can put children at risk for bladder infections.
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How Do I Know Whether My Baby Has A Uti
Your infant may have a urinary tract infection if any of the following symptoms exist:
- Fever of 100.4F or higher
- Crying during urination
- Refusing to eat
Many times, fever or acting a bit unwell is the only symptom of a UTI in infants.
If you suspect your baby may have a UTI, call a pediatrician. He or she will collect a urine sample from your babybest if collected by inserting a small catheter into the pee channel and test the urine for bacteria. It can take up to 2 days for the test to let us know if there is an infection. If your baby has an infection, the doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. If your child is prescribed antibiotics, it is important to give every dose of the medication, even if your child seems better.
Most children will never get a UTI. Of those who do, though, some may also have a problem with their ureters or kidneys, such as a condition called vesicoureteral reflux where urine can flow backwards from the bladder up the ureters to the kidneys . In some children, VUR only causes an occasional UTI, while in others it can cause serious harm to the kidneys from repeated infections, making children very ill.
Several research groups at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are studying UTIs in children to better try and treat and even prevent them.
Key Points About A Uti In Children
- A urinary tract infection is inflammation of part of the system that takes urine out of the body.
- Most infections are caused by bacteria from the digestive tract. The most common is Escherichia coli bacteria. These normally live in the colon.
- A UTI is not common in children younger than age 5. A UTI is much more common in girls because they have a shorter urethra.
- A UTI is unlikely in boys of any age, unless part of the urinary tract is blocked. Uncircumcised boys are more at risk for a UTI than circumcised boys.
- Symptoms vary by age, and can include fever, need to urinate often, pain, and crying.
Avoiding Things That May Irritate Your Child’s Bottom
Try to avoid anything that may cause irritation to your child’s bottom:
- avoid giving your child bubble baths, especially if they have sensitive skin
- wash your child’s hair in the shower rather than in the bath so they don’t sit in soapy water
- check for threadworms, which are very common in children, and consider treating your child every 6 months
- encourage girls to wear cotton underwear
How Can You Prevent Utis In The Future
Change your baby’s diapers often to prevent bacteria from growing. As your child gets older, teach them good bathroom habits to prevent UTIs. Instruct girls to wipe from front to back. This helps to prevent bacteria in poop from getting into the and urinary tract. Encourage your kids to go to the bathroom as soon as they feel the urge — not to hold it in.
Girls should avoid bubble baths and should not use perfumed soaps. And, they should wear cotton underwear — not nylon — to improve airflow and prevent bacteria from growing.
Have your kids drink lots of water, which helps flush bacteria out of the urinary tract. Extra water also prevents constipation, which can create blockages in the urinary tract that allow bacteria to grow.
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Signs Your Child Has A Uti
Urethra infection and bladder infection are the most common forms of UTI in children, but these infections can also affect the ureters and kidneys. If your child has a UTI, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Foul-smelling, cloudy or blood-tinged urine
- Frequent urination, although very little urine may be produced
- Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
- Pain below your child’s belly button
- Pain or burning sensation when your child urinates
- Waking at night to urinate
Urinary Tract Infection In Children
Overview of urinary tract infection in children
A urinary tract infection in children is a fairly common condition. Bacteria that enter the urethra are usually flushed out through urination. However, when bacteria arent expelled out of the urethra, they may grow within the urinary tract. This causes an infection.
The urinary tract consists of the parts of the body that are involved in urine production. They are:
- two kidneys that filter your blood and extra water to produce urine
- two ureters, or tubes, that take urine to your bladder from your kidneys
- a bladder that stores your urine until its removed from your body
- a urethra, or tube, that empties urine from your bladder to outside your body
Your child can develop a UTI when bacteria enter the urinary tract and travel up the urethra and into the body. The two types of UTIs most likely to affect children are bladder infections and kidney infections.
When a UTI affects the bladder, its called cystitis. When the infection travels from the bladder to the kidneys, its called pyelonephritis. Both can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but a kidney infection can lead to more serious health complications if left untreated.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection In Toddlers
A UTI is an infection in your childs urinary tract which includes their kidneys, the ureters that connect them to the bladder and the urethra where urine exits their body. Bacteria get into their urinary tract through the skin around their rectum and genitals or through the bloodstream from any part of their body .
Because it may not be obvious when a child has an infection, especially if theyre too young to voice their symptoms, UTIs in children sometimes go unnoticed. Urinary tract infections need to be treated immediately to prevent the infection from spreading and damaging the kidneys.
Prevention Of Uti In Children
Prevention of UTIs is difficult, but proper hygiene may help. Girls should be taught to wipe themselves from front to back after a bowel movement and after urinating to minimize the chance of bacteria entering the urethral opening. Avoiding frequent bubble baths, which may irritate the skin around the urethral opening of both boys and girls, may help lessen the risk of UTIs. Circumcision of boys lowers their risk of UTIs during infancy. Boys who are circumcised are infected with UTIs only 1/10th as often as boys who are not circumcised, but it is not clear whether this advantage by itself is a sufficient reason for circumcision. Regular urination and regular bowel movements may lessen the risk of UTIs.
How Are Recurrent Utis Treated
The primary treatment for UTIs is usually antibiotics, but for recurrent UTIs treatment can depend on the root cause for the reoccurrence. In some instances, it could be as simple as teaching your child proper bathroom practices. In other cases, your childs doctor may prescribe continuous antibiotics for a period of time to reduce the reoccurrence.
Kids who have infections and fevers along with VUR might need surgery. But most kids don’t have serious symptoms and outgrow the condition with no lasting problems.
It is important to note that children should complete the full course of medications to prevent the infection from worsening or affecting the kidneys, Dr. Kronborg said. By completing the medication, you can increase the odds of killing the bacteria. Stopping early allows a small portion to remain which can strengthen, change and develop resistance.
Prognosis For Uti In Children
Properly managed children rarely progress to renal failure unless they have uncorrectable urinary tract abnormalities. However, repeated infection, particularly in the presence of VUR, is thought to cause renal scarring, which may lead to hypertension and end-stage renal disease. In children with high-grade VUR, long-term scarring is detected at a 4- to 6-fold greater rate than in children with low-grade VUR and at an 8- to 10-fold greater rate than in children without VUR. The risk of scarring after recurrent UTI is as high as 25%, or 10- to 15-fold greater than that in children with only 1 febrile UTI however, few children will have recurrent febrile UTI.
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How Is A Uti In Children Treated
A UTI in children is commonly treated using antibiotics. The doctor will send your child’s urine sample to the lab, but analysis may take a couple of days. In the meantime, he or she will prescribe your child an antibiotic that treats the most common bacteria that cause UTIs. If your child’s urine culture identifies bacteria that may be causing symptoms, but is not treated by that antibiotic, the doctor may prescribe a new antibiotic.
Be sure to give your child the antibiotic in the prescribed dosage at the prescribed times each day. Your child must finish the full antibiotic course to ensure the infection doesn’t return. You should also encourage your child to drink plenty of water.
With proper treatment of a UTI in children, they should feel better in two to three days. Your doctor may need to perform further tests if your child has repeated infections. It is important to treat your child’s UTI promptly because untreated infections can cause kidney damage or, in rare cases, a bacterial infection of the bloodstream known as .
How Can I Help Prevent Recurrent Utis
You can help your child reduce their risk of developing another UTI. Dr. Kronborg shares these suggestions to help prevent infections down the road.
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Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
Babies under 3 months usually need to have antibiotics directly into a vein through a drip to treat a urinary tract infection . This means they need to be treated in hospital.
Babies older than 3 months can usually be treated at home with oral antibiotics.
Your doctor will check your childs urine again after treatment to make sure the infection has cleared up.
If there are any concerns about how your childs urinary tract is working, your doctor might refer your child to a specialist for further advice and treatment.
If your baby needs hospital treatment for a UTI, it can be quite upsetting. It might help to know that most babies get over UTIs quickly and dont need ongoing treatment.
Follow Good Bathroom And Diapering Habits
Some children simply dont urinate often enough. Children should urinate often and when they first feel the need to go. Bacteria can grow and cause an infection when urine stays in the bladder too long. Caregivers should change diapers often for infants and toddlers, and should clean the genital area well. Gentle cleansers that do not irritate the skin are best.
Your child should always wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement. This step is most important after a bowel movement to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra and bladder.
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About Urinary Tract Infections In Children
Urinary tract infections in children are fairly common, but not usually serious. They can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
A UTI may be classed as either:
- an upper UTI if it’s a kidney infection or an infection of the ureters, the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder
- a lower UTI if it’s a bladder infection or an infection of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body
What Are Some Good Bathroom Habits That My Child Should Follow
Teach your daughter to wipe herself from front to back after she goes to the bathroom.
Teach your daughter to lower her pants and underpants to her ankles and to sit comfortably on the toilet. If her feet don’t touch the floor, put a step stool in front of the toilet, so she can put her feet on it and be comfortable.
Teach your child to urinate regularly. Tell your child to not hold in urine for a long time. Going to the bathroom frequently can help prevent UTIs. Children who have had repeat UTIs should urinate every 1Â½ to 2 hours during the day. Drinking lots of fluids will help your child urinate more often.
Treat constipation. Constipation can give your child a sudden need to urinate.
Teach your child to empty the bladder all the way when he or she urinates. No âquickieâ bathroom visits during a TV commercial!
Give your child antibiotics only when your doctor tells you to. Antibiotics can kill the good bacteria that normally live on the skin of the genital area. When the good, protective bacteria are gone, harmful bacteria can grow and cause a UTI.
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What Is The Treatment For A Uti
Antibiotics are the main treatment for UTIs. Treatment is usually for 3 to 7 days. This depends on several factors, including how unwell your child is and whether they have underlying kidney problems.
Encouraging your child to drink more fluid may help. You can give pain relief if your child is in discomfort. You must follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. It is dangerous to give more than the recommended dose.
The following babies and children with a UTI usually need to go to hospital for intravenous antibiotics :
- young babies under 3 months of age
- children who are very unwell
Your child’s symptoms should start to improve after 48 hours of antibiotic treatment.
How Is A Uti Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment may include:
- Antibiotic medicine
- A heating pad or medicines to relieve pain
- Drinking plenty of water
Your child’s healthcare provider may want to see your child back again a few days after treatment starts to see how treatment is working.
Talk with your childs healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all treatments.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection In Children
A UTI is when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. As many as 8 in 100 of girls and 2 in 100 of boys will get UTIs. Young children have a greater risk of kidney damage linked to UTI than older children or adults.
How Does the Urinary Tract Work?
The urinary tract is the organs in your body that make, store, and get rid of urine, one of the waste products of your body. Urine is made in the kidneys and travels down to the bladder through the ureters . The kidneys make about 1½ to 2 quarts of urine a day in an adult, and less in children, depending on their age. In children, the bladder can hold 1 to 1½ ounces of urine for each year of age. For example, a 4-year-old childs bladder can hold 4 to 6 ouncesa little less than a cup.
The kidneys also balance the levels of many chemicals in the body and check the blood’s acidity. Certain hormones are also made in the kidneys. These hormones help control blood pressure, boost red blood cell production and help make strong bones.
Normal urine has no bacteria in it, and the one-way flow helps prevent infections. Still, bacteria may get into the urine through the urethra and travel up into the bladder.