Urinary tract infections or UTI occur when bacteria enters the urinary tract. This can happen when bacteria from the rectum and groin areas spread to the urethra and travel up the bladder. The bacteria cause infection and inflammation in the bladder. Urinary tract infections or UTI usually develop in children due to infection by the E. coli bacteria. These bacteria are present in the stools and can easily spread from the anus to the urinary tract via the urethra. This may sometime even travel up to the kidneys and cause infection there. There are some risk factors that put some children at a greater risk of getting UTI. These include boys below the age of one year and girls below the age of four years. Boys that are uncircumcised are also at a higher risk however, not all of them get UTI. When a bladder catheter has been used for a very long period of time, the chances of UTI increase. Improper development of the urinary tract prior to birth or improper functioning of the bladder may also pose a risk of developing UTI. Also, if a UTI has occurred once, then it is the chance of a recurrence is quite high. Children who tend to delay urinating are also likely to get affected by UTI. This is because keeping the urine in allows the infection to spread. Incomplete emptying of the bladder may allow the bacteria to infect the urine that remains in the bladder.
The symptoms that a child experiences when affected by UTI depends on the age of the child. Children above the age of two years usually experience a burning or painful sensation during urination. The urge to urinate also increases in frequency. The child may also experience fever along with pain and pressure in the areas of the lower abdomen, back and sides. Children below two years of age may have symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, urine with a bad odor, irritability and reduction in weight gain.
The treatment for UTI usually involves antibiotic treatment depending on the type of bacteria that has caused the infection. Home care involves giving the child plenty of water so that the bacteria are flushed out of the body. Cranberry juice is known to be a very effective remedy in treating urinary tract infections. Healthy bacteria that are naturally present in yogurt are also considered to be effective in fighting urinary tract infections.