Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (or UTI) is an infection of the urinary tract or bladder. It is a common infection and found in girls twice as often as boys.

Urinary Tract Infection Causes

A child may have a UTI due to:

  • A physicial abnormality
  • Family history
  • Poor hygiene
  • Irritation from different soaps and/or bubble baths

In young males, being uncircumcised boosts the risk for a urinary tract infection, since bacteria can hide under the foreskin, making hygiene harder to maintain. Children with a history of UTI's are at a higher risk as well of contracting another UTI. More below:

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

In younger children and infants, often the only symptom of a UTI will be a fever. Symptoms in children may be hard to pinpoint, but certain things to watch out for are:

  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to feed (in babies)
  • Fever
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Decreased amount of urine
  • Back and abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • A change in color or smell of urine
  • Blood in urine

Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

Usually your child's doctor will treat the UTI with antibiotics, depending on what kind of bacteria is determined to be causing the infection. A urinalysis and/or urine culture will be done to identify the kind of bacteria responsible and after several days of treatment, the tests may be repeated to determine success.

If your doctor suspects a bladder or urinary tract abnormality, he or she will probably order tests and refer you to a specialist. If you suspect such an abnormality, you may want to take your child to a urologist, which is a doctor who specializes in UTIs and other bladder infections.

Other practical home remedies that you may want to try on your child include drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice, and eating yogurt since the bacteria found in yogurt is known to battle the bacteria that causes UTIs. However, these remedies should in no way be considered a replacement for a visit to a physician.

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