Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) (Pediatric)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can occur in all children, although they are more common in girls. UTIs are infections that affect any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. UTIs in children can have various causes and symptoms, and it’s important to recognize and treat them promptly to prevent complications.
- UTIs are usually caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract.
- The most common bacteria causing UTIs is Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally resides in the intestines.
- Risk factors for UTIs in children include female gender (girls are more commonly affected than boys), constipation, urinary tract abnormalities, and issues with voiding or holding in urine especially during toilet training.
- UTI symptoms in children can vary depending on the age of the child and the location of the infection.
- It is important to note if there is presence of fever.
- Common symptoms include frequent urination, painful or burning urination, urgency to urinate, fever, abdominal pain, foul-smelling urine, and sometimes bedwetting in previously toilet-trained children.
- A pediatric healthcare provider will collect a urine sample for analysis and possibly for culture to identify the bacteria causing the infection. In non-toilet trained children a catharized specimen is preferred.
- Depending on the symptoms, further imaging or tests might be recommended to assess the urinary tract.
- UTIs in children are usually treated with antibiotics, if indicated. The choice of antibiotic depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection and any previous antibiotic resistance.
- It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if the child’s symptoms improve.
- Proper hygiene practices, such as wiping from front to back after using the toilet, can help prevent the spread of bacteria from the anal area to the urethra.
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, as staying hydrated can help prevent UTIs.
Some children might experience recurrent UTIs. In such cases, further evaluation might be needed to identify underlying causes or risk factors.
Regular follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider are important to monitor the child’s recovery and ensure that the infection has been effectively treated.
UTIs in children should not be ignored, as they can lead to more serious complications if left untreated. If you suspect that your child has a urinary tract infection or if they exhibit symptoms such as pain during urination, fever, or changes in urinary habits, it’s advisable to consult a pediatric healthcare provider. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, recommend appropriate treatment, and ensure the best possible urinary and overall health for your child.