Urinary tract infection (UTI) in children is common, but not typically serious.
UTI can be classified as follows
An upper UTI if there is an infection of the ureters or a kidney infection
A lower UTI if there is an infection of the urethra or a bladder infection called cystitis
Common symptoms of UTI in children
Since small children cannot communicate well it might be a task to figure out if they have UTI . Be very careful while you check the common symptoms
• High fever
• Lack of hunger or poor feeding
• The child getting irritated and fussy frequently
• Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes i.e jaundice in very small children
• Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
• Increase in the frequency to urinate
• Bed wetting
• Pain in the lower abdomen or back
• Bad odor in the urine
• Blood in the urine
• The child holds on to the pee often
Causes of UTI in children
UTI in children is usually caused when the bacteria from the digestive system enters the urethra , the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder
This is can happen in small children when their diapers or nappies are sold and small particles of their faeces enter the urethera or if a child wipes his/her bottom with toilet paper and the dirty toilet paper comes in contact with the genitals. Children at times do not empty their bladders properly and that too can cause UTI. A child may hold on to the pee or suffer from constipation that may result in not emptying the bladder and cause UTI
The most common form of treatment are antibiotics and children usually recover from this infection within 24 to 48 hours . Babies might have to be hospitalized those who move serious symptoms as medication cannot be given to them orally and have to injected.
How to prevent UTI in children
These steps can be followed to prevent UTI , however that does not mean that the child if totally safe from this infection.
- Teach your children especially girls to wipe their bottom properly from front to back and do the same for your babies .
- Clean the toilet properly and regularly
- Make sure the toilet seat is clean whether at home our outside .Keep a toilet seat sanitizer spray handy
- To build a good immune system for your baby try and breastfeed your little one for a minimum of 6 months
- Make children drink adequate water regularly whether in summer or winter
- Make sure to teach them to never hold on to their urine as this would affect their bladder and urinary tract
- Always use cotton or a breathable fabric for the child’s underwear and also it should be very tight .
- Do not use perfumed soaps.
Always remember to visit the doctor if your child has UTI , never try and treat it yourself . Recurrent cases of UTI are not common amongst children but it may occur so consult the pediatrician immediately .