Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children are fairly common. UTIs not only distress parents but bring a lot of discomfort to the child as well.
However, they can be treated with antibiotics effectively and are not usually serious. But if they are ignored and left untreated, urinary tract Infections can cause serious complications and kidney damage too.
Below Mentioned Are Some Facts About UTIs That You Must Know.
What Cause UTI in Babies?
Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children are caused by bacteria. These bacteria travel up the urinary tract. They are normally caused by bacteria from the large intestine, which are also present in stool (feces).
Keep in mind that it can be hard for your little one to express and share his symptoms in case of a UTI. You will have to observe him and understand his discomforts to determine whether he has a urinary tract infection or not.
To help you out, here are some general signs that indicate UTI –
- Delayed weight gain
- Loss of hunger or poor feeding
- Yellow discoloration of skin
How Does a Baby Get a Urinary Tract Infection?
In order to identify whether your little one has urinary tract infection or not in a better and more specific manner, compare his/her symptoms with the points mentioned below.
In case of a urinary tract infection, your child can experience –
- Pain and burning sensation while urination – You child may cry while urinating and show other signs of discomfort like irritation in their private area.
- Itch in the private area.
- Change in normal urine habits.
- Urine with an unpleasant odor.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Cloudy pee.
- Blood in pee.
How Do You Know If Your Child Has a Urinary Tract Infection?
If your baby displays signs and symptoms that indicate a urinary tract infection, your healthcare provider can sure shot determine whether your observation is correct or not.
Your doctor will examine the symptoms and conduct laboratory tests like a urine examination to be absolutely sure whether your little one has urinary tract infection or not.
Treatment usually begins after the urine has been examined.
The doctor can conduct other tests to check for abnormalities if –
- Your child has had UTI before.
- Your child is less than 6 months old.
- There is no improvement in your child’s symptoms within 24 to 48 hours of treatment.
- Your child has unusual symptoms like reduced urine flow or high blood pressure.
- If there is a lump or mass in their abdomen or bladder.
How to Prevent your child from Risk of getting a UTI?
Here are some things you can do to reduce the risks of your child getting a urinary tract infection.
#1 Avoid and minimize the risk of constipation –
Constipation can lead to high levels of the E. coli bacteria in the rectum, increasing the risk that they could spread to the urinary tract.Your child can become constipated if he isn’t breastfed properly for 6 months. Lack of hydration can also result in constipation.
#2 Maintain hygiene –
Teach and encourage your child to wash and wipe their private area.This should be done from front to back in order to avoid and minimize the chances of bacteria entering the urethra.
#3 Keep your child well hydrated –
It’s important for you to keep your child well hydrated. If your child isn’t taking enough fluids the chances of UTI can significantly increase.
#4 Breastfeeding –
Exclusively breastfeed the baby for 6 months. Breast Milk improves the baby’s immunity, helping him fight infections. Breastfeeding also reduces the chances of constipation.
#5 Urinate regularly –
Holding in urine or not urinating regularly can also increase the risks of urinary tract infections. Every Time your little one empties their bladder, some bacteria that cause UTIs can be washed away.
#6 Choose cotton –
Avoid using a synthetic underwear. Synthetic clothing can promote the growth of bacteria. Choose a loose fitting and comfortable cotton underwear. Make sure you check and change our little one’s diaper and underwear regularly.
#7 Add Vitamin C –
Vitamin C can definitely reduce the risks of UTI as it improves immunity and keeps the urinary tract healthy. Giving fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to children above 12 months of age can reduce the risks of UTI.
#8 Soothe pain with heat –
The pain of UTI can bring a lot of discomfort to your little one. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Ensure that the pad isn’t directly applied to the skin, you may use a clean cloth under the pad to minimize direct heat contact.
#9 Seek medical help –
Remember, that in any case of discomfort you should always meet a doctor. Your doctor will make sure that your child is given proper attention and treatment. He/she will also make sure that your child is diagnosed correctly so that treatment is proper.
UTIs are one of the most commonly occurring infections in children, therefore, it is important for the parents to know and understand the cause, symptoms, prevention, and course of treatment of UTIs.
In case of UTIs, medical care and attention are important for an effective treatment. Parents should take all preventive measures to reduce and minimize the risks of UTI so that their little one can lead a happy and healthy life.