Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent My Baby Getting A Uti
- Wipe your baby’s bottom from front to back when you change her diaper.
- Change her diaper as soon as she’s passed stool.
- Make sure your baby gets plenty of fluids to help flush bacteria out of her system.
- If your baby is potty trained, teach her to wipe her bottom from front to back, and encourage her to go to the toilet regularly.
Can Utis In Children Be Prevented
There are several things you can do to help prevent your child from developing a UTI:
- Practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of bacteria from the gut to the urinary tract. When wiping a girls bottom after a poo, it is important to always wipe from front to back .
- Being constipated can also increase the risk of developing a UTI, so if your child is constipated, see your doctor or pharmacist.
- Make sure your child is hydrated by offering them plenty of fluids to drink.
- Regularly change their nappy.
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.
What Puts My Child At Risk Of Getting A Uti
UTIs are common. They are most common in babies under the age of 12 months but can affect children of any age.
There are some conditions which put babies and children at higher risk of UTIs:
- an abnormality of the urinary tract
- neurological conditions where the bladder doesn’t empty properly
How Are Utis Diagnosed In Children
A urine sample is needed to check if your child has a UTI. Your childs doctor or nurse will guide you on how to do this.
Once collected, your childs urine sample is usually first tested by dipping a special paper strip into the urine to check for a colour change that can indicate an infection. The doctor may also send the urine sample to a laboratory to check which bacteria are causing the infection and which antibiotic will be most effective against your childs UTI. These results may take up to 48 hours to return. Sometimes your child will need an ultrasound to check for any problems with the bladder or kidneys.
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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
Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy, dark or has a strong smell
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
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When Should You Call A Doctor
A urinary tract infection in a child should be treated with antibiotics. If you think your child has a UTI, you should call their doctor for testing and treatment.
Babies and young kids cant tell you when it hurts to urinate. And if theyre still in diapers, theres no way to check for frequency, urgency, or accidents, either. This can leave parents without many ways to watch for UTI in youngsters. If your baby has had a UTI in the past, you might be able to tell by the smell of the urine when a new UTI is getting started. Otherwise, most UTIs in little kids cant be found until the child gets a fever.
Treatment For More Severe Utis
Kids with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
This might happen if:
- the child has high fever or looks very ill, or a kidney infection is likely
- the child is younger than 6 months old
- bacteria from the infected urinary tract may have spread to the blood
- the child is dehydrated or is vomiting and cannot take any fluids or medicine by mouth
Kids with VUR will be watched closely by the doctor. VUR might be treated with medicines or, less commonly, surgery. Most kids outgrow mild forms of VUR, but some can develop kidney damage or kidney failure later in life.
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Imaging Evaluation Following A Uti
An algorithm for the management of children with the presumptive diagnosis of a UTI is presented in Figure 1. The literature describing various protocols for the imaging evaluation of the urinary tract following a UTI is extensive. Unfortunately, no prospective studies with long-term outcome data are available.21 Some experts recommend that all children with a UTI be investigated with urinary tract ultrasonography. With regard to children younger than one year, two years or five years, some experts recommend urinary tract ultrasonography and cystography.2226 Some would obtain only cortical imaging or cystography if these studies are normal. In addition, there are those who suggest that no imaging is needed in the child with cystitis who responds promptly to treatment.2729
Treatment If The Condition Gets Worse Or Recurs
If your child’s urinary tract infection does not improve after treatment with antibiotics, your child needs further evaluation and may need more antibiotics. Your child may have a structural problem that is making the infection hard to treat. Or the cause of the infection may be different from the types of bacteria that usually cause UTIs.
If the infection spreads and affects kidney function or causes widespread infection , your child may be hospitalized. These complications are rare, but they can be very serious. Children with impaired immune systems, untreated urinary tract obstructions, and other conditions that affect the kidneys or bladder are at higher risk for complications.
If tests show a structural problem in the urinary tract that increases your child’s risk for recurrent UTIs, the doctor may consider preventive antibiotics.
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Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there is some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025
Key Points To Remember About Urinary Tract Infections
- a urinary tract infection is an infection in the urine
- UTIs are common in children
- UTIs can cause children to have high temperatures and become unwell
- sometimes UTIs can make children seriously ill, especially babies and young children – see your doctor or after-hours medical centre urgently if that happens
- babies under 12 months need investigation after a UTI to see if there is anything wrong with their urinary tract
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What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract gets rid of extra fluids and waste. The kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra are the organs that make up the tract. The kidneys filter blood and make the urine, the urine travels through the ureters to the bladder which stores the urine and then the urine passes through the urethra and out of the body.
Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections In Children
Urinary tract infections in children can usually be diagnosed by your GP. They’ll carry out a physical examination, ask about your child’s symptoms, and request a urine sample.
You may be asked to collect the urine sample yourself, or a doctor or nurse at your GP surgery may help you.
These tests help your GP identify what’s causing the infection and determine whether it’s in the lower or upper part of the urinary tract.
If your child is less than three months old, your GP may refer you straight to hospital to see a specialist in caring for children without asking for a urine sample.
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What Are The Symptoms
Babies and young children may not have the most common symptoms, such as pain or burning when they urinate. Also, they can’t tell you what they feel. In a baby or a young child, look for:
- A fever not caused by the flu or another known illness.
- Urine that has a strange smell.
Older children are more likely to have common symptoms, such as:
- Pain or burning when they urinate.
- Needing to urinate often.
- Loss of bladder control.
- Red, pink, cloudy, or foul-smelling urine.
- Pain in the flank, which is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back.
- Lower belly pain.
Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:
You think you, your child or someone you care for may have a urinary tract infection and:
- a very high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
- are confused, drowsy or have difficulty speaking
- have not been for a pee all day
- have pain in the lower tummy or in the back, just under the ribs
- can see blood in their pee
These symptoms could mean you have a kidney infection, which can be serious if it’s not treated as it could cause .
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
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Is It An Emergency
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.
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What Is The Urinary Tract And How Does It Normally Work
The urinary tract is the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
The kidneys filter and remove waste and water from the blood to produce urine. The urine travels from the kidneys down 2 narrow tubes called the ureters. The urine is then stored in the bladder.
When your child does a wee, urine flows out of the body through the urethra, a tube at the bottom of the bladder. The opening of the urethra is at the end of the penis in boys and in front of the vagina in girls.
Front view of the urinary tract
Side view of the female urinary tract
Side view of the male urinary tract
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Can An Infant Get A Uti
Yes. In fact, UTIs are the most common cause of serious bacterial infection in infants. It can be very difficult to know when an infant has a UTI, so its important to keep the possibility in mind.
The first sign of UTI in an infant is a fever. Since babies cant tell us when they have symptoms, a fever is often the first sign of UTI. Urinary tract infections dont cause very many other obvious symptoms, and when theyre left untreated they can progress to a dangerous infection. For this reason, any young infant with a fever should have a sample of urine collected and sent for a urine culture.
UTIs in infants need to be taken seriously. When an infant is diagnosed with a UTI, it often means they already have a kidney infection. Pyelonephritis can be life-threatening and needs treatment with strong antibiotics. In addition, there are a number of mild birth defects that can make infants more likely to get a UTI and these might not show up until a UTI occurs. For this reason, infants who get pyelonephritis usually need additional testing after the infection is treated.
What Causes Utis In Children
When bacteria enters the urinary tract and multiplies, it can cause a UTI. The bacteria most frequently come from the gut, usually in the faeces , and this can infect the urinary tract. In some children, constipation can increase the risk of developing an infection.
Sometimes, UTIs are caused by a condition called urinary reflux. This condition develops when there is a problem with the bladder valve and urine flows in the wrong direction, back up into the kidneys from the bladder. If you suspect your child has a UTI, its important that they see their doctor and have this investigated, to prevent complications such as kidney scarring.
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How To Treat Urinary Tract Infection In Babies
Does your baby often cry when urinating? If so, it could be that your baby has a urinary tract infection . However, don’t panic because this is a common occurrence. The most important thing is that you know what the symptoms of urinary tract infections in babies are and how to treat urinary tract infection in babies.
Urinary tract infection is one of the common health problems experienced by infants, especially infants under 1 year of age. Generally, this condition is caused by bacteria that come from feces that enter through the baby’s genitals, then rise and develop in the bladder.
This can happen if the way to clean the baby after defecating is not right, the baby has not been circumcised, the baby is constipated, and the baby has congenital abnormalities in the urinary tract.
How Do You Treat A Uti In A Child
The most important thing to do when your child has a UTI is follow your healthcare providers instructions closely. Depending on your kids age, their family history, their lab results, and other factors, treatment and follow-up can vary a bit. That being said, there are a few things that are nearly always helpful.
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What Causes A Uti In Children
Bacteria, often the intestinal bacteria E. coli, can easily enter the urinary tract from the skin around the anus. UTIs are more common in girls, especially during potty training, because a girl’s urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. Uncircumcised baby boys also have a slightly elevated risk. Some risk factors for UTI are not preventable, including:
- A structural or functional abnormality in the urinary tract .
- An abnormal backward flow of urine from the bladder up the ureters and toward the kidneys, known as vesicoureteral reflux, which is very common in kids with UTIs.
In some cases, additional tests such as ultrasound or bladder x-rays may be recommended to look for these conditions and to determine the most effective treatment.
What Happens If Its Left Untreated
A bladder infection that isnt treated right away can progress to a kidney infection and other complications. Pyelonephritis is much more likely to happen in kids who have VUR and is more likely to cause fever, vomiting, and belly, back, or side pain. Urosepsis, or bacteria in the bloodstream, can also occur. These infections can cause permanent damage or be life-threatening if they arent treated properly.
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How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections In Babies
How to prevent urinary tract infections in babies starts in first understanding the why this occurs. The causes of urinary tract infections in babies differ from those of an adult. As we age, urinary problems may become more prevalent. The bladder muscles may fail, and bladder control is lost. Bladder stones, bladder cancer, an overactive bladder or the eventual need for a catheter are frequent causes of urinary tract infections in adults. However, the causes are different for infants, and often, the only sign is an unexplained fever. Therefore, it is important to prevent UTIs from occurring as much as possible.
Drink plenty of fluids. Make sure your baby is drinking enough water as this helps to flush the toxins from their bladder and kidneys. This reduces the risk of UTIs significantly .
Wipe From Front To Back
If you have a daughter, wiping from the front to the back can prevent and treat UTI. There is also a good reason to back this up. Pee and poop have unhealthy bacteria which can cause infections if they come in contact with the urethra and the urinary tract. So, when you clean your childs private areas, remember to wipe from the front to the back and use a different toilet paper for the genitals and the anus.
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