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Urinary Tract Infection In Children, Ambulatory Care

A urinary tract infection (UTI)

is caused by bacteria that get inside your child's urinary tract. Your child's urinary tract includes his kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Urine is made in the kidneys, and it flows from the ureters to the bladder. Urine leaves the bladder through the urethra. Your child may have a lower UTI, which is an infection in his bladder and urethra.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Fever and chills
  • Abdominal, side, or back pain
  • Irritability
  • Urine that smells bad
  • Urinating more often, bedwetting, or more wet diapers than usual
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Leaking urine

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Urinating very little or not at all
  • Vomiting
  • Severe pain in his abdomen, sides, or back

Treatment for a UTI

may include any of the following:

  • Antibiotics treat the bacterial infection.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to give your child and how often to give it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.

Prevent a UTI:

  • Remind your child to urinate as soon as he feels he needs to. Have him empty his bladder often. Teach him to not hold his urine.
  • Give your child fluids as directed. Ask how much liquid to give your child and which liquids are best for him. Your child may need to drink more fluids than usual to help flush out the bacteria.
  • Apply heat on your child's abdomen for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease discomfort and pressure in your child's bladder.
  • Teach your female child to wipe from front to back. This helps keep germs from entering the urinary tract.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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