How to Treat and Prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Children?

It is not just women who are most prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), but even children suffer from it.

Acute UTIs are quite common in children, with 8 percent of girls and 2 percent of boys at least suffering from one episode by age 7.

Where does the infection occur?

The infection does occur when the bacteria that enter the urethra is not expelled out of it, and they actually start growing within the urinary tract, thus causing an infection. The two types of UTIs that can affect children are bladder infections as well as kidney infections.

UTIs occur more often in girls, in particular when toilet training does begin. Also, uncircumcised boys who are below age 1 are at a higher risk of UTIs.

Other factors that do increase a child’s risk for a UTI does include a structural deformity or blockage in one of the respective organs of the urinary tract, abnormal functioning of one’s urinary tract, some kind of a birth defect, use of bubbles in baths, tight-fitting clothes, poor bathroom habits, infrequent urination or even delay in urination for long periods of time.

How does it impact children?

Infants and very young children may not show any symptoms when suffering from a UTI. However, in slightly older children, symptoms may include a fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability and a general feeling of illness.

One must treat UTIs in children without any further delay to avoid any kind of complications.

While it is necessary to give one’s child the prescribed medications for as long as one’s physician advises, there are also certain home remedies and lifestyle tips to be able to treat and prevent the infection in the future.

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Increase Fluid Intake

A child must have plenty of fluids while UTI is being taken care of. Drinking of more liquids helps dilute the bacteria concentration and in flushing out harmful microbes.

  • One can give him or her milk, freshly extracted fruit or vegetable juice as well as homemade soup.
  • Do not to give one’s child caffeinated or carbonated beverages, which can also irritate the bladder.

Encourage Your Child to Go When Needed

Keeping one’s bladder full for a long time or resisting the urge to urinate can also lead to UTI. It also increases the risk of bacterial growth. It also increases the pressure on the kidneys, which again is not very good for one’s child’s health.

One must encourage the child to urinate often and to empty his or her bladder often. This helps to flush out bacteria out of the urinary tract.

Change the Diapers Frequently

In order to treat as well as prevent UTIs in younger children, it is important to change one’s diapers frequently. If one does not change the diapers, it leads to spreading of bacteria that cause UTIs.

One must also clean the genital area of the child apart from changing diapers. One must make use of gentle cleansers that do not irritate the skin.

Also Read: The Super-Simple Way to Prevent Recurring UTIs

Provide Proper Toilet Training

Toilet training processes must begin when the child is 18 months of age. Once the child is 18 months old, one should teach him or her potty training and good hygiene.

One must teach one’s child to wipe from front to rear and not from rear to front. This will also help to prevent germs from spreading from the rectum to the urethra. The child must be taught to make use of fresh toilet paper.

Give Probiotic Yogurt

One must feed one’s child a little bit of probiotic yogurt every day as a preventive step for UTIs in children. Probiotic yogurt does contain billions of friendly bacteria that do help in fighting off infection-causing bacteria.

Regular intake of benign bacterial flora also does help one to maintain a healthy pH level and also strengthen the immune system.

The consumption of probiotics and antibiotics in children with recurrent UTIs is indeed safe and also more effective in reducing the incidence of febrile UTIs in comparison to prophylactic antibiotics alone.

  • One can feed 1 cup of probiotic yogurt with live cultures to the child daily. One can try a smoothie made with probiotic yogurt.
  • Along with yogurt, one can give the child fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and sour pickles.

Avoid Bubble Baths

One must avoid bubble baths. Bubble baths permit bacteria and soap to enter one’s urethra and can cause irritation. For small children, it is better to go in for showers than baths.

One must take necessary precautions to prevent UTI infection among children.

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About the Author: Nagendra Gadamsetty

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