How to Care for Your Child with Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

This leaflet will provide you with information about Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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Child with Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

What is Urinary tract infections (UTI)?

Urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the bladder or kidneys causing the infection.

What are the symptoms of UTI?

Your child may experience the following:

  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • the need to pass urine more often than usual 
  • Pain in the low stomach or sides of the back
  • Fever
  • Chills and shivering 
  • Vomiting 
  • Poor feeding and irritability in younger children

How is UTI diagnosed?

The doctor will ask few questions about your child’s health and then examine your child. Your child’s doctor will decide about further investigation and blood tests if required. Investigation may include:

  • Urine test, a sample of urine is needed to determine if your child has a urinary tract infection
  • Urine culture: if initial sample suggest UTI then sample will be sent to the laboratory for culture to decide the appropriate antibiotics treatment. The culture results will take at least 48 hours to be available

How is UTI treated? 

  • Urinary tract infection is treated with antibiotics
  • Your child’s doctor will decide which medicine is suitable based on your child age and the germs that caused the infection. Your child should begin to feel better after 24 to 48 hours from starting antibiotics 
  • Make sure your child takes the antibiotics as advised and complete the course even if your child feels better
  • If your doctor advises to give medicine for fever and pain, make sure your child takes
    • Paracetamol (like Panadol, Tylenol. Or any other brand) 
    • Ibuprofen (Like Advil or any brand) 
    • Follow the instruction on the medicine package for the correct dose for your child
  • You will be advised if follow up appointment is required 

How is UTI prevented? 

  • Teach your child to wash/wipe from front to back after peeing or pooping
  • Encourage your child to use the bathroom when he/she needs to and not to hold it 
  • Treatment of constipation and bladder problems will also help prevent future UTIs

Urinary tract infection can happen again within six months of the first infection in children who had previous infection. If you child has recurrent urinary tract infection, you doctor will decide whether your child will benefit from long term antibiotics to prevent further infections

Home care advice  

  • Do not give Aspirin to your child as this can cause serious complication 
  • Give your child the prescribed medicines as advised by the doctor
  • Ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids
  • Ensure your child gets appropriate rest

When should I seek medical advice? 

Seek medical care if your child:

  • Has back pain
  • Has fever that does not go away with chills and shivering (higher than101°F or 38.3°C)  
  • Vomits and cannot take his/her medicine 
  • cannot get better despite home care advice 
  • Gets new rash 

Go to the Emergency Department if your child:

  • Is getting very sick
  • Has signs of dehydration like dry sticky mouth, peeing less, no tears when crying
  • Is less energetic or drowsy