Urinary tract infections or UTIs are quite common in children. These conditions develop when bacteria get into the bladder or kidney and start creating trouble.
If you suspect your child has a UTI, you need to take them to see a doctor. This condition needs antibiotics to kill germs and help them get better, and will not go away on its own. With the right treatment, UTIs can clear up in around a week.
What Are the Signs?
Most UTIs will occur in the lower part of the urinary tract. This type of UTI is called cystitis, and can present with a variety of different symptoms:
- Pain when urinating;
- Frequent urination (even waking up in the middle of the night);
- Wetting issues, though the child is potty trained;
- Lower belly pain;
- Foul-smelling urine.
If the UTI travels to the kidney, this condition is called pyelonephritis. It can cause many of the same symptoms, but the child will appear sicker and even be tired all the time. This condition is also treatable but can make parents panic. It’s important to stay calm and take the child to see a doctor.
Why Do Kids Get UTIs?
UTIs, in children and adults, usually occurs when bacteria from the skin or anus gets in the urethra.
Girls are more prone than boys to get a UTI because their urethra is closer to the anus, but boys can get them as well. One cause for UTIs can be improper hygiene if the child doesn’t have a good cleaning routine after they’ve used the potty.
Other causes can include:
- A kidney problem;
- Urine reflux;
- Family history.
How Is a UTI Diagnosed?
If you see your child has UTI symptoms, take them to your pediatrician. The doctor will generally take a urine sample and test for bacteria, either asking the child to pee in a cup if they are toilet trained or through a plastic bag placed over their genitals to collect the urine. In some cases, the urine may be collected straight from the bladder through a needle or bladder catheterization.
By analyzing the urine, the doctor can find out the exact germs that are causing the UTI and prescribe appropriate treatments.
Keeping Them Safe
We all want to protect our children from all harm, but sometimes that’s not possible. If you suspect your child as a UTI, get in touch with Pediatric Associates of Franklin.