A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the
bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra, the organs that make up the urinary
tract. UTIs in children usually occur if bacteria begin to grow in these parts
of the body.
Symptoms of a UTI can be hard to notice in a baby or
young child. A baby's symptoms may include unexplained fever, lack of appetite,
vomiting, and urine that has an unusual smell. A young child's symptoms may
include pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, loss of bladder
control, discolored or foul-smelling urine, and fever.
of a UTI in a child typically requires a medical history and physical exam,
urinalysis, and urine culture. But if a child's symptoms and urinalysis results
strongly suggest that he or she has a UTI, many doctors will prescribe
antibiotics for UTI without waiting for the results of a urine culture.
Treatment for most children with UTIs is oral antibiotics and home care.
Home care includes encouraging the child to drink extra fluids
to flush bacteria out of the bladder and reminding the child to urinate often
and to empty the bladder each time.