It is estimated that around 3% of children are affected by UTI in the USA. Unfortunately Urinary Tract Infection does not spare children from its horrible effects. Bacteria can enter your child’s urinary tract and cause bladder, urethral or kidney infection. UTIs are likely to affect little girls because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus and boys under 1 year who are uncircumcised.
Causes of UTI in Children
- Anomalies of your child’s urinary tract organs
- Dressing up your girl in tight clothes or nylon panties
- When fecal waste gets in contact with the urethra
- Delaying urination
- A birth defect that results in the abnormal backward flow of urine known as vesicoureteral reflux
Symptoms of UTI in Children
It can be a challenge to know your child’s symptoms during pre-school age. You might notice general signs such as fever, poor appetite, diarrhea and vomiting.
If the bladder is the site of infection you might notice;
- blood in urine
- cloudy urine with foul smell,
- frequent urination
- Your child may want to urinate but little or no urine comes out
When you suspect UTI rush your child to hospital to prevent fatal conditions of the kidneys.
Diagnosis of UTI in Children
Your child’s urine will be tested via urinalysis or urine culture to determine the presence of bacteria that has caused the UTI. Your child’s doctor might use other methods of urine collection such as placing a urine collection bag on your child’s genital area or using a catheter to obtain the urine from the bladder. If your child is still using diapers a fresh sample of urine can be taken from it for testing.
Since some infections in children can be caused by abnormalities in the structural appearance of the urinary tract or other serious kidney complications other tests that may involve taking x-ray or imaging scans of the kidneys and urinary tract.
Treatment of UTI in Children
UTI in children is treated by pain relief medication and antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Clavulanic, Nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim. Depending on the age of your child and the severity of the infection the doctor will prescribe a specific antibiotics and duration of treatment.
Antibiotics are usually administered orally if the child does not have severe UTI. In extreme cases where your child is less than 6 months old, has fever, dehydration, vomiting or the bacteria has travelled to the blood, the child might need hospitalization for close monitoring and intravenous medication.
Ensure that you give your child the antibiotics as prescribed while closely monitoring symptoms. If there is no progress, check in to hospital again. Your little one should recover from UTI within a few weeks. Severe cases may take 6 months to 2year to be cleared completely.
Prevention of Childhood UTI
- Give child fluids in plenty especially water
- Buy loose fitting clothes
- Your girl child should not have bubble baths
- Teach your child to wipe front to back after passing urine or feces
- Teach your child not to hold urine
- Change diapers frequently
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