Urinary Tract infection in Children: Symptoms, Risks and Complications

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

Urinary tract infection in children (UTIs) is one of the most common problems. This occurs when germs or the bacteria get into the bladder or kidneys.


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A kid who is dealing with a UTI may have a fever, throw up, or be fussy. Older kids may have a fever along with the pain while peeing, frequent urination, or have lower belly pain.


Kids with UTIs need to see a doctor. These infections won’t get better on their own. UTIs are easy to treat and usually clear up in a week or so.


Taking antibiotics kills the germs and helps kids get well again. To be sure antibiotics work, you must give all the prescribed doses — even when your child starts feeling better.


What Are the Signs of a Urinary Tract infection in children?


Most UTIs happen in the lower part of the urinary tract — the urethra and bladder. This type of UTI is called cystitis. A child with cystitis may have:


  •  Burning or pain while peeing


  • An excess urge or more frequent need to pee



  • Frequent urination during the night


  • Wetting problems, even the kid is potty trained


  • Belly pain in the area of the bladder


  • Foul-smelling pee that may look cloudy or contain blood


  • An infection that travels up the ureters to the kidneys is called pyelonephritis and is usually more serious. It causes many of these same symptoms, but the child often looks sicker and is more likely to have a fever (sometimes with shaking chills), pain in the side or back, severe tiredness, or vomiting.


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Risk factors for urinary tract infection in children


UTIs occur more often in girls, especially when toilet training begins. Girls are more susceptible because their urethras are shorter and closer to the anus. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra. Uncircumcised boys under 1-year-old also have a slightly higher risk of UTIs.


The urethra doesn’t normally harbor bacteria. But certain circumstances can make it easier for bacteria to enter or remain in your child’s urinary tract. The following factors can put your child at a higher risk for a UTI:


  • A structural deformity or blockage in one of the organs of the urinary tract


  • Abnormal function of the urinary tract


  • Vesicoureteral reflux, a birth defect that results in the abnormal backward flow of urine


  • The use of bubbles in baths (for girls)


  • Tight-fitting clothes (for girls)


  • Wiping from back to front after a bowel movement


  • Poor toilet and hygiene habits


  • Infrequent urination or delaying urination for long periods of time.


Complications of UTI in children


Prompt diagnosis and treatment of a UTI in your child can prevent serious, long-term medical complications. Untreated, a UTI can result in a kidney infection that may lead to more serious conditions, such as:



  • Kidney abscess


  • Reduced kidney function or kidney failure


  • Hydronephrosis, or swelling of the kidneys


  • Sepsis, which can lead to organ failure and death




Here we have discussed urinary tract infection in children, it is quite common among kids. But we need to consult to the doctor for better treatment and to avoid complications of the same.


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