Urinary Tract Infection in Kids? Urinary tract infection is one of the common infections that kids caught. Infants and young children have a greater risk for this condition as compared to teenagers and adults. Though this condition is treatable, if the right action is not taken at the moment, it might lead to severe consequences. So, to keep your child safe from this disease, you should be aware of each information regarding UTI.
In this article, you will get to know about urinary tract infections in children. From its symptoms to the treatments, let’s get into it!
What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
UTI or urinary tract infection in kids is a common condition. In simple words, the infection is caused when bacteria grow inside the urinary tract. Usually, the bacteria are removed through urination. But in this case, the bacteria instead of being expelled out of the urethra, begin to spread.
The parts of the human body that comes under the urinary tract and are responsible for the production of urine are:
- The kidneys, whose job is to clean the blood and filter the extra water to produce urine.
- Two ureters or tubes that transfer the urine from the kidney to the bladder.
- The bladder forms the shelter for urine until the action of urination.
- The urethra or tube is responsible for emptying the urine from the bladder.
The infection in children spreads when the bacteria enter through the urinary tract and goes from there to the different body parts. The urinary tract infection in children as well as in adults can be distinguished between two types, kidney infections, and bladder infections. Both of which can affect children.
When the infection spreads in the bladder, the condition is known as cystitis. When the bacteria travel from the bladder to the kidneys and infection spread in that area, this condition Is known as pyelonephritis
The information that is relieving is that both types of urinary tract infections can be treated with the help of antibiotics. But, when the kidney infection is left untreated, it can increase the risk of several serious health conditions.
What are the causes of UTI?
We know that this infection is mainly caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract through the skin that surrounds the vagina or the vulva. The type of bacteria that can be the cause of this infection is E. coli, which develops in the intestines. So, when E. coli spreads or transfers from the anus to the urethra, the condition is caused.
Risks involved for UTI in children
As compared to boys, most of the cases of UTI occur in girls. It is being said that the infection arises at the beginning of toilet training. The reason that makes girls more likely to catch this infection is that their urethra is closer and at a shorter distance to the anus. This being said, boys under the age of one, also have a risk of getting UTIs.
The urethra does not always make a home for bacteria. Due to some situations, the bacteria might find their ways to get into the child’s urinary tract. Given below are the factors that might contribute to the risk of UTI in children:
- Unhygienic toilet and bad habits of a kid
- The formation of a blockage or a structural deformity in one of the organs of the urinary tract.
- Holding urine back or infrequent urination for a long period.
- Malfunctioning of the urinary tract
- Using chemically developed bubbles in baths
- Girl children wearing tight clothes.
- Vesicoureteral reflux is an abnormal backward flow of the urine that is detected during birth.
Symptoms of UTI in children
The signs of UTI depend on the severity of the infection and the age of the child. Make a note that infants or toddlers might not experience any signs or symptoms of the infection. When the children get a urinary tract infection, they tend to experience the following signs:
- deprived appetite
- less energetic
Some symptoms are less likely to occur and depend on the organ that has been infected. If the kid is suffering from a bladder infection, the symptoms are:
- foul-smelling urine
- frequent urination
- blood in the urine
- urge to urinate while sleeping
- experiencing pain or pressure in the lower back or pelvis
- cloudy urine
- feeling sensations such as burning or pain or sting while urinating
The child might also suffer from an intense type of UTI, kidney infection. The symptoms are also intense in this case and close attention should be paid:
- shaking while getting chills
- high fever
- intense fatigue
- severe abdominal pain
- flushed or warm skin
- pain in the back or side
- vomiting and nausea
Available and recommended treatments
The treatment for UTI will surely involve antibiotic treatment to prevent any damage to the kidney. The type of antibiotic depends on the severity of the child’s UTI and the type of bacteria responsible for it. The antibiotics that are commonly prescribed are:
- doxycycline, but only in children over age 8
- amoxicillin and clavulanic acid
The above antibiotics can be paired with the recommended at-home care:
- Even if the antibiotics are working well and the child is recovering, keep continuing on the antibiotic as per the physician’s advice.
- Keep an eye on the temperature and keep a note of its fluctuations.
- Give your child a sufficient amount of fluids
- Keep a check on the child for the sensations he feels while urinating.
The above treatments are prescribed when the infection is only caused in the bladder. In severe cases, hospitalization and IV fluids are also prescribed for a short period.
Hospitalization is necessary when:
- when the patient is less than 6 months old
- The fever is not improving after the intake of antibiotics
- Infection is spread to the kidney
- Blood infection due to the bacteria
- Extreme dehydration or vomiting