How To Prevent & Manage UTI In Kids


Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a common but uncomfortable ailment that affects millions of people worldwide each year. They are particularly prevalent among women, but kids can get it too.

UTIs are more common in girls. This may occur as children begin toilet training around 3 years of age. Excessive heat and fluctuation in temperatures have also been known to cause a spike in cases of urinary tract infections (UTIs). 

A UTI is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureter. In children, UTIs are most common in the bladder and can cause irritation in these areas.

Normal urine contains water, salts, and waste products. It’s free of germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. An infection happens when germs enter the urethra, travel up to the bladder, ureters, and kidneys, and begin to grow. 

Dr Jitendra Sakhrani, Urologist, Apollo Spectra, Mumbai says

Symptoms of a bladder infection in children include:

In children older than 6 months of age, a fever is a more reliable indication of infection. However, you should look for changes in your child’s feeding behaviour, lethargy, and vomiting.

  • If your child pulls his legs up when he uses the bathroom 
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Foul or strong urine odour
  • General ill feeling
  • Pain or burning while peeing
  • Pressure or pain in the lower pelvis or lower back
  • Wetting problems after the child has been toilet trained

Israel Franco, MD, Yale Medicine paediatric urologist says

Bacteria from the gut can enter the urinary tract through the tube that carries pee out of the. Kids could get UTI if they

  • Don’t wipe their bottom properly
  • Soil their nappy
  • Constipation
  • Dysfunctional elimination syndrome – when the child ‘holds on’ to their pee, even though they have the urge to pee
  • Urine leaks back up from the bladder into the ureters and kidney

Your child’s paediatrician will request a urine sample. Once collected, the urine sample is analyzed in the laboratory (urinalysis) to look for white blood cells or bacteria, which can signal an infection. An additional test, a urine culture, may also be performed to identify exactly which bacteria are present in the urine, as well as to quantify the amount so that your doctor can more accurately treat the infection.    

To help prevent UTIs, your child needs to:

  • Pee as soon as they have the urge to go. It’s not safe to hold in pee.
  • Pee every 3 hours while they’re awake. After peeing, they should relax their body, count to 10, and see if they can pee a little more.
  • Not hold in poop. This can cause them to hold in their pee too. If your child has constipation, talk to their doctor about ways to treat it.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water – 6 to 8 glasses every day. Staying hydrated delivers a double blow against potential UTIs. Not only does filling the bladder help them pee more frequently, but it also dilutes the urine—an additional benefit for keeping bacteria at bay. If they are well hydrated and go to the bathroom regularly, it never gives bacteria an opportunity to grow and cause that infection.
  • Teach children to wipe from front to back, which can help keep the urethra—the tube that carries urine out of the body—from becoming infected with bacteria from the anus.
  • Keep their bottoms clean and dry.
  • Make sure they wear clean underwear every day.
  • Wear underwear that’s made from cotton instead of synthetic fabric. Air flows through cotton more freely and keeps the bottom dry. Germs grow faster in a moist area than they do in a dry one.

For babies over six months old, cranberry, blueberry, and pineapple juices are recommended options. These fruits help prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying in the urinary system. However, it’s important to dilute the juices before giving them to your baby, as some may increase urine acidity.

Cranberries, blueberries, raspberries – all berries play a crucial role in maintaining urinary tract health by containing a key compound that combats bacteria and prevents it from adhering to the urinary tract lining. Smoothies are an excellent way to incorporate plenty of berries into your child’s diet. Whether using fresh or frozen berries, they provide a delicious option year-round.

Maintaining a balance of beneficial bacteria is crucial for preventing the growth of harmful pathogens. Probiotics play a role in treating and preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs) by restoring the body’s natural flora and boosting resistance to bacteria. Add yoghurt, buttermilk, kanji, kimchi and other fermented food to their diet.

Coconut water cools and calms the inflammation produced by the unfavourable bacteria. 

Homoeopath practitioner Dr Manjari Rao recommends drinking barley water. What also works as per her is dissolving 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in water and drinking that.

If your child has a UTI, their doctor or health care provider will prescribe antibiotic medicine. They must take all the medicine as ordered, even after they start feeling better. Please consult your doctor for all medical conditions.

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