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Recognizing UTI Symptoms in Your Child

Pediatrics and Child Health

To adults, the presence of a urinary tract infection is usually hard to miss, as the symptoms are obvious and often quite painful. But in children, UTI symptoms can be much more elusive. Urinary tract infections can stem from a variety of scenarios (including family history and poor bathroom habits), but they are typically caused when bacteria enter the urethra, causing an infection in the urethra, bladder, or kidneys. If you suspect a urinary tract infection in your child, you need to notify your pediatrician immediately for guidance on how to treat it. Here are some common urinary tract infection symptoms to look for.

UTI Symptoms in Infants and Young Children

The younger your child is, the trickier a urinary tract infection can be to catch, as UTIs at these younger ages may not cause obvious symptoms. In fact, the only symptom for infants may be a fever. Other potential symptoms include irritability and fussiness, lack of appetite, and failure to gain weight. More obvious symptoms, if they occur, would include foul-smelling urine, crying during urination, and even vomiting or diarrhea.

UTI Symptoms in Older Children

Urinary tract infection symptoms in older children are usually much easier to recognize, especially since an older child will be much better able to articulate what he or she is experiencing. The biggest symptom, of course, is pain or burning during urination. You child may also have the urge to urinate frequently but then only pass small amounts of urine. Bedwetting or frequent accidents that are not typical for your child are also indicators. You can also look for pain in the lower abdomen or side and urine that is foul-smelling and/or red, pinkish, or cloudy.

If your infant, young child, or older child experiences any of these UTI symptoms, your best bet is to contact your local pediatrician or medical professional. Then the doctor can evaluate your child to determine whether he or she is experiencing a urinary tract infection or if another condition is causing the discomfort, and proper treatment can be decided on. Urinary tract infections can be extremely uncomfortable if not painful for a child, so you want to work with your doctor to find relief for him or her as soon as you can.

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