Jan 31, 2017
Post By: Children's Health
UTIs in children are very common and very treatable. To prevent complications, it’s best to call your child’s doctor to get treatment as soon as you notice symptoms.
Urethra infection and bladder infection are the most common forms of UTI in children, but these infections can also affect the ureters and kidneys. If your child has a UTI, you may notice:
It’s important to know that UTI symptoms are similar to symptoms of other conditions and infections. Always have your child checked by your doctor when symptoms appear. He or she will ask about your child’s symptoms and conduct a brief examination.
To confirm a UTI and identify the type of bacteria causing it, the doctor may need a urine sample. Older children will be asked to urinate in a cup at the doctor’s office. To diagnose a baby or young child, the doctor may need to:
The doctor will send your child’s sample to the lab, but analysis may take a couple of days. In the meantime, he or she will prescribe your child an antibiotic that treats the most common bacteria that cause UTIs. If your child’s urine culture identifies bacteria that may be causing symptoms, but is not treated by that antibiotic, the doctor will prescribe a new antibiotic.
Be sure to give your child the antibiotic in the prescribed dosage at the prescribed times each day. Your child must finish the full antibiotic course to ensure the infection doesn’t return. You should also encourage your child to drink plenty of water.
UTIs in children often disappear completely after treatment, but your doctor may need to perform further tests if your child has repeated infections. It’s important to treat your child’s infection promptly because untreated infections can cause kidney damage or, in rare cases, a bacterial infection of the bloodstream known as sepsis.
Bacteria, often the intestinal bacteria E. coli, can easily enter the urinary tract from the skin around the anus. UTIs are more common in girls, especially during potty training, because a girl’s urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. Uncircumcised baby boys also have a slightly elevated risk. Some risk factors for UTI are not preventable, including:
In some cases, additional tests -- such as ultrasound or bladder x-rays – may be recommended to look for these conditions and to determine the most effective treatment
Some UTIs are preventable. To lower your child’s risk:
With proper treatment, most kids will feel better in two to three days. Ask your doctor if an over-the-counter pain medication may help your child in the meantime.
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