Urinary tract infections (UTIs) is a bacterial infection that affects the urethra, bladder or kidney which is common that is common among children especially girls because their urethra is shorter and close to the anus. Uncircumcised boys under the age of one are more susceptible to urinary tract infection too.
Urinary tract infection sometimes presents in babies with fever, vomiting and general uneasiness and in kids you also find fever, lower belly pains, peeing a lot, pains when peeing and lower belly pain.
There are different types of Urinary tract infections one of which is cystitis. Cystitis occurs in the urethra and bladder. In addition to the other signs mentioned generally for all urinary tract infection, cystitis comes with burning sensation when urinating, feeling pressed to frequently, lots of peeing accidents even after been potty trained, foul smelling pee that looks cloudy or may contain blood etc.
Another type of urinary tract infection is pyelonephritis which is more severe than cystitis although it has similar symptoms. In this case infection moves from the urethra to the kidney. Children with pyelonephritis look sicker with fever and shaking chills, tiredness and vomiting.
What predisposes a child to urinary tract infection?
- Poor toilet hygiene: When the pee area is wrongly cleaned from back to front, fecal particles are transferred from the anus to the vagina area which can lead to infection.
- There may be a blockage of the urinary tract that inhibits normal flow of urine.
- The backward flow of urine from the bladder called vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). The urine flows up from the ureters and toward the kidneys.
- A family history of urinary tract infections.
How can urinary tract infection be treated?
Urinary tract infection does not go on its own, you need to see a doctor. It is important that you do not delay when you observe these signs because if left to linger it can lead to kidney damage.
When UTIs are detected early, it is usually treated with antibiotics with prescribed dosage from your doctor which must be taken religiously so avoid resistance.
How can urinary tract infection be prevented?
You can reduce the chances of your baby, toddler coming down with urinary tract infection if you do the following;
- Change diaper often to prevent the spread of bacteria
- Teach your children good hygiene when potty training them. Show your daughters how to wipe from front to rear.
- Avoid bubble baths and highly scented bath soaps because they tend to cause irritation in the pubic area.
- Choose 100% panties and underwear’s instead of nylon.
- Discourage holding down urine because the more this is done bacteria thrive well in it.
- Make your kids drink plenty water and avoid caffeine.