Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Baby

There are many infections that could get in your baby’s body if they are not well taken care of. Although most of these infections are caused by bacteria, some enter the system through the skin around the anus. A good example is the urinary tract infection. Mostly, this infection is common among kids and especially those between 5-12 years. However, this does not mean older kids cannot get infected. They too get UTIs. The only difference is in the way the symptoms show. For instance, in older children, the signs are quite obvious and include pain while peeing plus a burning sensation. It is harder to detect in younger children. Even so, this is a serious infection that should be dealt with immediately lest it causes severe health complications to your kid.

What Is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

The urinary tract has kidneys that are responsible for making urine. It also has the ureters that carry urine to the bladder where is stored before being released out of the body when the body is ready to empty

Usually, urine flows from the urethra without any problems. However that is not the case when the tract has bee infected. This is because if the skin around the rectum or genitals is infected, the baby is bound to swell along the system. About 8% of girls and 2 % of boys are known to have suffered urinary tract infection at some point in their childhood. Girls are more susceptible to UTI (especially during toilet training) because their urethra is shorter.

Normally, the first and safest thing to do is to call your doctor if you suspect your baby has an UTI. There is no need to panic as these infections are easy to treat. Failure to do so is linked with kidney failure and other kidney problems. It is for this reason that parents are warned against ignoring any signs of UTI. This is because children below 2 years are more vulnerable than older children. It is ideal for parents to be on the look out and treat UTI as soon as it is detected.

Signs of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Baby

As mentioned above, the signs of UTI are obvious in older children while they are invisible in younger children. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • Odd smelling urine.
  • Frequent waking up in the night to go use the bathroom.
  • Great urge to urinate even though only a small amount of urine is emptied from the bladder.
  • Bloody and cloudy urine. Wetting problems even after the baby’s is old enough and has been taught how to use the bathroom.
  • Unexplained and persistent irritability for no good reason.
  • Crying while peeing or another indication that it is painful to urinate.
  • Refusal to eat and Vomiting.

Treatments for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Baby

Once you take your baby to a doctor and he detects UTI, a sample of his uncontaminated urine is taken for test such as urine culture. An ultrasound could also be used to help show the picture of your baby’s kidneys and how they are .Once he manages to collect your baby’s urine sample, it is examined under a microscope. It is only after realizing there is UTI that he gives treatment immediately. Even so, it is important that he identifies what bacteria caused the infection so as to accord the right treatment to your baby.

Although UTIs are treatable, it is important to catch them in good time. This is because undiagnosed urinary tract infections are known to lead to kidney failures especially in girls between 2 and 6 years as their urethra is closer to the anus. This means they are likely to catch the infection easily.

How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Baby

Before the child is taught how to use the toilet, it is ideal that parents adapt to regular diaper changing habits. This is one way of preventing the spread of UTI. Other preventive measures include:

Prevention Measures


Maintain Personal Hygiene

Once the child begins to self-toilet, especially for girls, they are supposed to be taught good hygiene. This means telling them to wipe themselves from the front to the rear and not vice versa. This prevents germs from spreading to the urethra from the rectum.

Do Not Hold the Urge

Children should also be taught not to hold urine when they feel like empting their bladders. This is because the urine that remains in the bladder creates conducive environment for bacteria to grow.

Use the Right Soap and Panties

School going girls should also be cautioned against using strong soaps when bathing. Bubble baths are also discouraged as they might contain bacteria responsible for an UTI infection. Cotton panties are also better to nylon as they are less likely to attract bacteria growth.

Keep Hydrated

Besides that taking plenty of water and fluids is also healthy. Water prevents constipation that is likely to cause urinary tract infection. Plenty of water is also associated with causing the baby to urinate more hence flushing out any bacteria in the UT.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

It is also important to introduce vegetables and fruits especially if your baby is already taking solids in their diet. Fruits and vegetables work wonders in preventing constipation.

Breastfeeding Your Baby Long Enough

Last but not least, breastfeeding is also important. It is for this reason that breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to continue breastfeeding until the baby is at least 7 months and if possible to continue longer. This is because studies have shown that breastfeeding tends to babies for long protects them against UTIs. Better yet the protection persists, even after weaning for up to two years. Breastfeed is also a good way of protecting your little one from UTIs.

If you want to learn more about urinary tract infections, check the following video:

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