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Identifying, Curing, and Preventing UTIs in Children

Symptoms in Children

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in children may be overlooked or attributed to another disorder. Common symptoms may include:
 
  • Irritability
  • Not eating normally
  • Unexplained fever that will not go away
  • Incontinence
  • Loose bowel movements
  • Not thriving.
     
Children are more likely to have fever and no other UTI symptoms. They should see a doctor if there are possible UTI symptoms, such as a change in the child's urinary pattern.
 
(Click Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms in Children for more information.)
 

Treating a Urinary Tract Infection in Children

Doctors treat childhood urinary tract infections with bacteria-fighting drugs called antibiotics. While a urine sample is being examined, healthcare providers may begin treatment with a drug that treats the bacteria most likely to be causing the infection. Once the doctor knows the culture results, he or she may decide to switch your child to another antibiotic.
 
 

Preventing a Urinary Tract Infection

If your child has a normal urinary tract, you can help him or her avoid infections by encouraging regular trips to the bathroom. Teach your child proper cleaning techniques after using the bathroom to keep bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
 
Some abnormalities in the urinary tract correct themselves as the child grows, but some may require surgical correction. A common procedure to correct vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), which is the abnormal flow of urine from the bladder back into the ureters, is the reimplantation of the ureters. During this surgery, the doctor will reposition the connection between the ureter and the bladder so that urine will not back up into the ureters and kidneys.
 
In recent years, doctors have treated some cases of VUR by injecting collagen or a similar substance into the bladder wall, just below the opening where the ureter joins the bladder. This injection creates a kind of valve that keeps urine from flowing back into the ureter. The injection is delivered to the inside of the bladder through a catheter passed through the urethra, so there is no need for a surgical incision.
 
(Click Vesicoureteral Reflux for more information.)
 
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Pediatric Urinary Tract Infection

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