All You Need To Know About UTI In Children

Posted On Feb 21, 2023

6 Min Read

Urinary Track Infection Treatment for Children

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are highly prevalent in children across the globe. Bacteria that generally enter the body via the urethra are flushed out through urine. However, if the bacteria are not expelled out of the urethra quickly, they may grow inside the urinary tract, which can cause an infection. The urinary tract consists of those parts of the body that deal with urine production. It includes:

  • Two kidneys produce urine by filtering blood and extra water.

  • Two ureters (or tubes) carry urine to the bladder from the kidneys.

  • A urethra that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body.

  • A bladder that stores urine until it is removed from the body.

UTI can occur in a child when the urinary tract gets infested with bacteria, which then travel up the urethra and enter the body. Kidney infections and bladder infections are the two most prevalent types of UTIs. When UTI affects the functioning of the bladder, it is called cystitis. On the other hand, pyelonephritis occurs when the infection travels to the kidneys from the bladder.

What are the Causes of UTIs in Children?

UTIs are primarily caused by bacteria, which may enter the patient’s urinary tract from the skin around the vagina or anus. E.coli, a type of bacteria usually found in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) (in the intestines), is the most commonly diagnosed cause of UTIs. A large number of UTIs occur when this type of bacteria or other types of bacteria spread to the urethra from the anus.

What are the Risk Factors for UTIs in Children?

UTIs are more prevalent in girls, especially during their toilet training period. This is because girls are more vulnerable on account of the fact that their urethras are shorter and closer to the anus than that in men. This consequently makes the entry of bacteria into the urethra easier. Besides, certain other factors can also make the entry of bacteria into the urinary tract easier, such as:

  • Abnormal functioning of the urinary tract.

  • Blockages or structural deformities in any organ of the urinary tract.

  • Tight-fitting clothes.

  • Cleaning from back to front after a bowel movement.

  • Delaying urination or infrequent urination for long periods of time.

  • Poor hygiene.

What are the Symptoms of UTIs in Children?

The symptoms of UTIs vary significantly depending on the age of the child and the severity of the infection. Some of the most commonly observed symptoms in children suffering from a UTI are:

  • Poor appetite.

  • Fever

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

Children suffering from a bladder infection may also experience:

  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating.

  • Pain or pressure in the lower back or lower pelvis just below the navel.

  • Frequent urination.

  • Cloudy and foul-smelling urine.

  • Blood in the urine.

Children suffering from a UTI that has traveled to the kidneys may experience intense symptoms, such as:

  • Back or side pain.

  • Skin that’s warm or flushed.

  • High fever.

  • Irritability

  • Chills with shaking.

  • Vomiting and nausea.

  • Severe fatigue and abdominal pain.

As the initial signs and symptoms of UTI in children can be easily overlooked, it is necessary to consult a doctor if the child looks sick/fatigued and has a high fever without earache, runny nose, or other obvious symptoms.

How are Children with UTIs Treated?

A child diagnosed with a UTI will need prompt antibiotic treatment to prevent long-term kidney damage. The length of urinary track infection treatment for children and the type of antibiotic used for the treatment depends on the type of bacteria causing the UTI and the severity of the infection. Some of the most commonly used antibiotics for treating UTIs in children are:

  • Cephalosporins

  • Amoxicillin

  • Amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.

  • Doxycycline but only in children older than 8 years.

  • Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim.

  • Nitrofurantoin

Oral antibiotics are primarily used for treating children with UTIs that has been diagnosed as simple bladder infection. However, hospitalization, IV fluids, or antibiotics are generally recommended for treating more severe infections.

Moreover, hospitalization is usually recommended when the child:

  • Has a high fever that is not improving.

  • Has a kidney infection.

  • Is younger than 6 months.

  • Is vomiting, dehydrated, or not able to take oral medications for other reasons.

If your child is experiencing any sort of pain or infection it is advisable to seek medical help from a paediactric doctor in Bangalore at the earliest to avoid any major problem.