How To Tell If Your Child Has a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)…

Kids catch lots of bugs in their first few years of life. Colds and other respiratory infections are common. But kids can get urinary tract infections (UTIs), too. Up to 8% of girls and 2% of boys will get a UTI by age 5. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in kids. They happen when bacteria (germs) get into the bladder or kidneys. Older kids may have a fever, have pain and burning when peeing, need to pee a lot, or have lower belly pain. Infants and toddlers can’t tell you what hurts and where so you have to look for other signs that you could be dealing with a UTI. Babies may have a fever, loose stool, refuse to eat, be irritable, and when you change their diaper, you may notice the urine smells strong. Kids with UTIs need to see a doctor. Since children are more likely to suffer from kidney damage as a result of a UTI, call your pediatrician right away if you suspect your child may be dealing with a UTI.

The UTI Test For Diagnosing

Your pediatrician will do a simple urine sample to detect the presence of bacteria. For collecting urine in infants, typically the pediatrician will apply a urine collection bag with an adhesive backing to obtain a specimen for urinalysis. If a specimen is needed for a culture, a sterile in and out catheter will be used. The pediatrician can tell from the urine sample under the microscope and provide results in a matter of minutes. The type of bacteria determines the type of antibiotic that will be prescribed.

Complications Of UTI In Children

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of a UTI in your child can prevent serious, long-term medical complications.

Untreated, a UTI can result in a kidney infection that may lead to more serious conditions, such as:

  • Kidney abscess
  • Reduced kidney function or kidney failure
  • Swelling of the kidneys
  • Sepsis, which can lead to organ failure and death

Drink plenty of fluids and take the medication. Even if they start to feel, better do not stop the medication. If symptoms do not improve within three days, you must call your pediatrician immediately.

Long-Term Outlook For Children With A UTI

With prompt diagnosis and treatment, you can expect your child to fully recover from a UTI. However, some children may require treatment for periods lasting from six months up to two years.

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About Pediatrics of Florence

We believe that children are more than just “little adults.” They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as “kid friendly” as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms (separated for sick and well children) as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
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