Patient Care

Urinary Tract Infection (Children)

What is Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of any part of the urinary system (including the kidneys and bladder). Urinary tract infections are more common in girls than in boys.

UTIs are usually caused by bacteria which infect the urinary tract. An infection can occur anywhere along the urinary tract, but the lower part - the urethra and bladder - is most commonly involved. This is called cystitis.

If the infection travels up the ureters to the kidneys, it's called pyelonephritis and it's generally more serious. Although bacteria are not normally found in the urine, they can easily enter the urinary tract from the skin around the anus. Intestinal bacteria E. coli is the most frequent cause of urinary tract infection.

What are the signs & symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection in children?

Your child may or may not have symptoms. The usual symptoms are:

  • Passing urine more often than usual
  • Pain and burning when passing urine
  • Abdominal or back pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Bed-wetting
  • Wetting during the day
  • Foul smelling or cloudy urine
  • Blood in urine

If your child has the abovementioned symptoms,

  1. Consult your child's doctor. Give your child any medication prescribed by the doctor. Be sure to check whether the medication should be taken before or after meals. If your child vomits or refuses the medicine, notify the doctor.
  2. Remember to give your child extra fluids during this time. These will help to dilute the urine and make it less painful to pass.
  3. Notify your child's schoolteacher that your child might need to use the washroom more often than usual.
  4. Ensure that children practise good hygiene even when they have no symptoms. Instruct them to wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet, and have girls wipe their genital area from front to back.
  5. Remember to keep your child's return appointment with the doctor.
How can I prevent my child from getting Urinary Tract Infection?
  • Keep your child's genital area clean.
  • Teach your daughter to wipe the genital area from front to back after she goes to the toilet.
  • Ensure that your child wears cotton underpants and changes them daily.
  • Do not put bubble bath or bath oil in your child's bath.
  • Help your child establish regular toilet habits.
  • Avoid constipation in your child. It may prevent proper urine flow. To prevent constipation, include bran, whole wheat bread, raw vegetables and raw fruits in your child's diet. Do not give your children laxatives unless they have been ordered by the doctor.
How is Urinary Tract Infection diagnosed in children?

After performing a physical exam, the doctor may take a urine sample to check for and identify bacteria causing the infection.

The urine sample may be used for a urinalysis (a test that checks the urine for germs or pus) or a urine culture (which attempts to grow and identify bacteria in a laboratory). Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best medication to treat it.

What are the treatment options for Urinary Tract Infection in children?

Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics. The type of antibiotic used and how long it must be taken will depend on the type and severity of bacteria causing the infection.

After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to check if the infection is gone. An incompletely treated UTI can recur or spread.

Find A Doctor

Click here to access our Find A Doctor directory for a list of doctors treating this condition across our NUHS institutions.

You can search by -
  • Condition name 'Urinary Tract Infection' AND
  • Institution
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