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Causes of Frequent Urination

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Urinary Tract Infection

One of the most common causes of frequent urination in children is urinary tract infection (UTI) also known as bladder infection. UTIs result when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Girls get more UTIs than boys because they have a shorter urinary tract and bacteria from the rectum can more easily enter the urinary tact through the opening of the urethra by not properly wiping from front-to-back when using the toilet. Most infections are caused from the E. coli bacteria, which normally lives in the colon. Symptoms of UTIs in children include:

  • Burning or painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Side or back pain
  • Blood in urine
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Wetting accidents in potty-trained children


One of the causes of frequent urination in girls is vulvovaginitis, which is the irritation of the delicate tissue around the vaginal area and the urethra. This skin can become red and inflamed from exposure to common irritants such as soap, shampoo and bubble bath.


A condition known as Pollakiuria is one of the causes of frequent urination in children. It is also called Extraordinary Daytime Urinary Frequency Syndrome and is characterized by very small amounts of urine being expelled at a time with a child who goes to the toilet 10 to sometimes 30 times per-day. There is no know cause for this syndrome, although some experts believe it is stress related and that a child will usually outgrow this condition.

Voiding Dysfunction

Children should be reminded at regular intervals – every two to three hours to take a potty break. Children become so engrossed in their interesting play and learning activities that they don’t want to stop when nature calls. This can lead to an over-extended bladder resulting in a last minute rush to the bathroom and sometimes not making it in time. Habitually allowing the bladder to overfill can cause urinary retention problems.

You should also make sure that your child is completely emptying their bladder during bathroom breaks. Kids are in a hurry to get back to the action and rush through the boring break time. Try to calm them down during the break and encourage them to go completely. Talk to them during the potty break and ask them to try to eliminate fully before you allow them to return to previous activities.

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

This disease is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure and affects approximately 600,000 people in the US. PKD is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of numerous cysts filled with fluid in the kidneys, which reduces kidney function and can lead to kidney failure. Symptoms include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Frequent urination

Type 1 Diabetes

The risk of developing Type 1 Diabetes is higher than virtually all other severe chronic diseases of childhood. It is also one of the causes of frequent urination in children.

The most common type of diabetes in children is Type 1 Diabetes. In fact, Type 1Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, according to the American Diabetes Association. It is estimated that one in every 600 children in the US develops Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in the US. Symptoms include:

  • High levels of sugar in the blood when tested
  • High levels of sugar in the urine when tested
  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger but loss of weight

Type 2 Diabetes

There is an increase in Type 2 Diabetes (also known as Adult Onset Diabetes) in children and adolescents due to rise in obesity caused by a decrease in physical activity in these age groups. Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • High levels of sugar in the urine when tested

Most causes of frequent urination are easily avoided. If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, you should seek prompt diagnosis and treatment from your pediatrician.

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