What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Urinary tract infection is bacterial infection of kidneys and
urinary tract, which can recur again and again if not diagnosed
early and treated effectively.
How does a child get a urinary infection?
Majority of urinary infections occur due to entry of bacteria
through urinary opening i.e. urethra (tube connecting the bladder
to the opening outside on the body) which ascends to bladder,
ureters (tube connecting the bladder to the kidney) and then kidneys.
Unhygienic conditions around the genital region, diapers, pin
worms, not cleaning the area after passing stools or bacterial
diarrhea are some of the predisposing factors. In newborns and
very small infants, bacteria enter the kidneys from blood circulation
blood borne infection.
How will my doctor diagnose urinary infection in my child?
Whenever a child gets fever without cough/cold or any focus of
infection or these is painful urination, pain is abdomen with
vomiting, loss of appetite, not gaining weight, the doctor will
suggest urine to be tested routinely and culture to detect the
type of bacteria which has caused infection. A high index of suspicion
What precautions do I have to take for my child with UTI?
Under doctors advice, appropriate antibiotic is prescribed
which is specific for the bacteria, which has caused the infection.
This medicine should be given in the prescribed dose for 7
10 days. Child should be given extra fluids to increase the urine
flow to wash out the bacteria. The urinary parts should be cleaned
with plenty of water each time he/she passes urine to prevent
My child has had many episodes of urinary infections. The doctor
has started her on long term antibiotics. Is it necessary?
If UTI becomes recurrent i.e. 2 3 attacks within 6 months;
long term drug therapy after the episode of infection is cleared
by 7 10 days of antibiotic therapy helps in preventing further
infections. It is important to remember that each urinary
infection especially with fever can affect the kidneys and leave
behind permanent scars.
How can I prevent my child from getting a urinary infection?
Strict aseptic precautions, treatment of thread worms, relief
of constipation, changing of diapers frequently (or not using
diapers) and cleaning the bottom, vulval region in girls and penile
region after retracting the skin in boys with plenty of water,
giving extra fluids are simple but important measures to prevent
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updated on 23-08-2001