Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in children. Bacteria penetrate the urethra (the conduit that pumps urine from the bladder out of the body) and migrate upward to the urinary bladder and often the kidneys, causing the problems of UTIs. Nearly all UTIs are caused in the same manner.  

In exceptional situations, bacteria from the kidneys may also infiltrate the bloodstream and induce inflammation of the bloodstream (sepsis) or other organs. Hence, identifying and taking treatment for UTIs is essential and necessary for the children. Here are the common and uncommon symptoms you might notice in your children to identify UTIs. 

Symptoms

Other than a fever, newborns and babies may have no symptoms. At the same time, older children may experience discomfort or burning during urination, pain in the bladder area, and a desire to urinate regularly. 

Infants and children under age two years: Fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and foul-smelling urine are all symptoms of a UTI in infants and children under two.

Children over age two years: A UTI in babies and children above two causes fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and foul-smelling urine.

Children with bladder infections: Bladder infections (cystitis) in children are characterised by pain or burning during urination, a constant and urgent need to urinate, and pain in the bladder area. They may have trouble urinating or storing urine (urinary incontinence). Urine may have an unpleasant odour or foul smell.

Children with kidney infections: Kidney infections (pyelonephritis) in children are characterised by pain in the side or back over the infected kidney, as well as high fever, chills, and a general sense of ill health (malaise).

Rare and Exceptional Conditions: A lump in the belly, swollen kidneys, an irregular opening to the urethra, or potential deformities in the lower spine are all symptoms of urinary tract anomalies in children. Children with a weak urinary stream can have a blockage in one of the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters) or lack bladder control due to a nerve issue.

Irrespective of the severity of the symptoms of the children, UTIs are still treatable. They can be diagnosed with regular tests such as Urine tests, imaging of the urinary tract and sometimes blood tests. UTIs are treated with antibiotics, and consulting your pediatric doctor will suggest the best treatment method based on the UTI severity. 

*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision. 

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