Are you informed about Urinary Tract Infection in children?

By: - 14th November 2018

Even the slightest discomfort of children causes much concern for the parents, and therefore, they commit themselves to make sure that the little darling is happy and healthy at all times. However, it is possible that children fall sick at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. Just think...what happens if your child gets a Urinary Tract Infection? What should you do now? Let’s discuss from the beginning.

Urinary Tract Infection can be recognized as a common complaint among children. It is important that parents are knowledgeable about these conditions and obtain medical advice when necessary. The reason is the risk of bacteria, fungi and germs that cause UTI harming the kidneys which develop between birth and age 5. Girls especially are at a greater risk than boys. The reason is the shorter length of the urethra.

Reasons for UTI caused by germs:
  • Poor genital hygiene.
  • Via bloodstream infection.
  • The lower part of the food digestion system located close to the urinary tract can spread germs to the urethra.
  • Birth defects found in the urinary system.
Symptoms displayed by a child with UTI:
  • Fever.
  • Passing urine in droplets.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • Bed wetting. (Pay attention if a child who does not usually wet the bed starts doing it.)

These symptoms can differ according to the child’s age. If the child is at an age in which he is unable to communicate his discomforts, symptoms such as crying in pain, rejecting milk/food, the manner, and frequency of urination, severe crying when urinating, and vomiting can help parents recognize that the child is suffering from a condition. If a child displays these symptoms, it is very important to seek medical advice.

Things to consider when conducting a urine test on your child.

Collect the urine sample in the correct method. For this purpose:
  1. Wash and clean the genitals well with soap and water.
  2. Prepare for the child to urinate. It may be helpful to give plenty of fluids or breastfeed beforehand, to help them pass urine easily.
  3. Let the first urine to pass to the toilet bowl, and then collect an adequate amount of urine to the provided container.
  4. The container should be opened just at that moment. Prevent it from coming into contact even with the child’s skin.
  5. Provide the urine sample to the laboratory within 2 hours.

If the urine sample is not collected properly in this manner, there is a higher chance that the report you get being inaccurate. In the case of UTI, the medication is initiated only after checking the test report. Ensure that the prescribed antibiotic medication is given to the child till the last dosage according to the doctor’s instructions.

Also, in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis of certain conditions, the child may have to undergo scan tests recommended by the doctor. In certain situations, hospital admittance may be required to get the proper medical treatments. There are cases in which injections are required to treat children who are critically affected.

If your child is suffering from UTI
  • Prevent dehydration by giving the child sufficient amounts of liquids.
  • Give Paracetamol to reduce fever and alleviate stomach pain.
  • Give antibiotic medication according to doctor’s prescription. Avoid giving antibiotic medication suggested by a pharmacist or what was prescribed to another family member.
In order to prevent UTI in children,
  • Make sure they drink enough water.
  • Change under-ware/diapers as often as required for younger children.
  • For children who use the toilet/potty to urinate, wash well afterwards. When washing girls, teach them to do this from front to back, not from back to front.
  • Using strong soaps and powder types on genitals can create a conducive environment for bacterial growth and hence result in infections.
  • Advise children to urinate as soon as they feel the urge. Holding it in can also cause infections.
An article prepared in consultation with Senior Registrar of Department of Mycology at Medical Research Institute, Dr. M.N. Jayawardena.

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