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Frequently Asked Questions

I've heard of UTIs in adults, but how did my child get one?

The normal body can protect itself from urinary infections. In some children, a UTI may be a sign of an abnormality. For this reason, when a child is found to have a UTI, more tests and x-rays may be ordered. Many children get UTIs because they don't use the restroom regularly or don't drain their bladder all the way. Also, some children who often get UTIs have trouble with bladder control during the day (dysfunctional elimination syndrome). Constipation is also linked to urinary infections, and treating this problem can lower the chance of getting a UTI. Drinking more water and urinating more help the body fight off urinary infections.

Do UTIs have long-term effects?

Young children have the greatest risk for kidney damage from UTIs, especially if they have some unknown urinary tract abnormality. The damage can cause scarring, poor growth, and abnormal kidney function, as well as high blood pressure and other problems. It is important that your child be checked carefully and treated at once.

Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider

During Diagnosis:

  • Do my child's symptoms sound like a UTI?
  • What did the urine sample show?

About Treatment

  • What treatment do you suggest?
  • Are there any side effects to this treatment I should watch for?
  • Is there anything else I can do to help my child feel better?
  • How will I know if my child is getting better or worse?
  • How soon should my child feel better? Should I call you if my child doesn't feel better then?

About Preventing Future UTIs

  • How much water or other fluids should my child usually drink?
  • Can my child still take bubble baths?
  • Is there anything else I can do to help prevent my child from getting another UTI?
  • Should my child see a pediatric urologist to see if there is anything in his/her urinary tract that is not normal?
  • Should my child take antibiotics to prevent future UTIs?