Urinary tract infections (UTIs) don’t just affect adults, they can affect kids too! A UTI is a common, short-term sickness that can be painful and uncomfortable for your infant, child, or toddler, and it can also lead to consequences. Did you know around 8 percent of girls and 2 percent of boys get urinary tract infections by the age of 5? Your child’s UTI may go away with treatment but you need to recognize the symptoms and signs of a UTI.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai to understand more about UTIs in children.
UTIs in kids are common
Dr Siddhartha highlights, “They are a common occurrence in kids owing to bacteria (germs) entering the bladder or kidneys. UTIs can steal the child’s peace of mind if not managed with the help of an expert. A baby with a UTI may showcase symptoms such as fever, vomiting and even become cranky. These kids will take around a week’s time to fight the infection and get back on track.”
So, it is vital that parents know the telltale signs, causes, and severity of the problem to address them all in time.
Also Read: UTI: Here’s a pro tip to keep urinary tract infection at bay
Symptoms of UTI in kids
Kids who have been infected with a urinary tract infection may experience pain, burning, or a stinging sensation when peeing. They might urinate frequently, experience wetting problems, even after potty training the child, abdominal pain, foul-smelling pee, and cloudy urine, points out the expert. In fact, the infection may travel up the ureters to the kidneys, called pyelonephritis which can turn fatal. It will be imperative for parents to consult the doctor on an immediate basis after noticing the symptoms. So, do not neglect these symptoms in your children.
Causes of UTI in kids
UTIs are commonly seen in girls as their urethra is shorter and nearer to the anus. Other factors that invite UTIs are kidney or a blockage somewhere along the tract of normal urine flow), backward flow of urine to the ureters and kidneys, and not following poor toilet and hygiene habits. Also, having a family history of UTIs can raise one’s chances of suffering from it, avers the gynaecologist.
Also Read: 12 effortless ways to keep your bladder healthy
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis of urine infection in children will be detected with the help of urine tests that help detect the bacteria. Following the instructions given by the doctor after the diagnosis may help in the treatment of the infection.
As for the treatment, Dr Siddhartha says that the doctor will advise antibiotics for the child. Parents should make sure that the child doesn’t skip any doses. Here are some ways to avoid the infection, as suggested by the expert:
- Drink enough fluids
- Avoid caffeine, soda or iced tea
- Make sure your kid is wiping from front to back to prevent germs from spreading
- from the anus to the urethra
- Do not take bubble baths or use chemical-laden soaps that might cause irritation down there
- Wear cotton undergarments instead of using any other fabric
- Do not take your child’s health lightly at all
- Kids need to avoid acidic foods that can irritate the bladder
In case your kid experiences a urinary tract infection, make sure to connect with a doctor to avoid any problems.