UTI Treatment in Children
Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs occur when harmful bacteria travel up to the organs of the urinary tract like the urethra, bladder, ureters, or the kidneys. The most common UTI-causing bacteria is the E. coli bacteria from the digestive tract.
UTI is a common condition in children affecting around 3 out of 100 children every year. Commonly, it affects the bladder and if treated promptly, it doesn’t spread to the other organs. With proper care, UTI is not considered a serious condition.
Why Do Children Get Urinary Tract Infections?
UTIs occur when germs from the poo get into the urethra and fester there. And this could happen because of the following common situations:
- The baby spends too much time in a soiled diaper.
- The child doesn’t wipe their bum the right way.
In less common cases, UTIs are also caused due to
- Genetic predisposition of being UTI-prone
- Structural abnormality in the genital area
- Urine reflux, known as vesicoureteral reflux
If your child is suffering from diarrhea, it also temporarily puts them at a higher risk of getting a UTI.
Does Your Child Have A Urinary Tract Infection?
UTIs are more common in children less than one year old. This is why it can be easy to misunderstand the symptoms for other issues. However, it worth consulting a doctor if you see the following symptoms in your infant:
- Irritability, especially during peeing
- Poor feeding
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Frequent urination
- Pee that looks cloudy or has blood
- Foul-smelling pee
In addition, for older children who can voice their feelings, you can note more specific early signs like:
- Pain or burning during peeing
- Pain in lower belly
- Frequent need to pee
- Bed wetting, even when the child is potty-trained
- Peeing only a little each time
UTIs can be very uncomfortable. But they are completely treatable. Do seek medical attention if you observe any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your child.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated?
When you consult Dr. Mallikarjuna Reddy, he would first ask you to explain the symptoms that you have observed. If he sees the symptoms direct towards an urinary tract infection, he will suggest urine tests and kidney ultrasounds. This will give him a clear picture of the extent of the infection so that he can customize the treatment. In case the doctor notices any structural abnormality or another health issue that’s causing the UTI, a comprehensive treatment regimen can be devised.
The standard treatment is a course of antibiotics along with some other medicines to manage the pain and fever, if any. Using a heating pad on the area can also be soothing. However, the biggest supplement to the treatment regimen is drinking sufficient amounts of water so that the bacteria is flushed out with pee.
After the course of antibiotics, you may need to redo the test to make sure that all the germs are cleared out and the child is healthy again.
Can You Prevent Urinary Tract Infections?
Here’ what you can do or help your child do to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections:
- Change their diaper as soon as they are soiled and wipe them out thoroughly.
- Feed them breastmilk for up to 6 months to enhance their immunity. Post that make sure to give them a balanced, nutritive diet.
- Help them make a habit of drinking plenty of water.
- Teach them to wipe from front to back ONLY.
- Encourage them to pee whenever they have the urge; ask them not to “hold it in”.
- Do not use regular soaps to clean the genital area; this will kill the beneficial microbiome there.
With a healthy diet and hygienic sanitary practices, the risk of UTIs can be reduced to a great extent!