How To Deal With UTI In Children?


A recent post by a mummy on a Mummy-Baby support group on Facebook brought our attention to the seriousness of what we call the Urinary Tract Infection. We had covered this topic earlier, but in this post we will look at what can occur if the infection is left unattended. We will also look at a few do’s and dont’s that you must do to prevent such infections.

The child who was affected with UTI had symptoms ranging from fever and chills to burning sensation while passing urine. These symptoms disappeared after a round of medicines but returned a week later. So a consultation with the paediatrician followed up with several tests revealed that the urinary tract infection had spread to the kidneys! Yes, there was infection in the right kidney and it was spreading!

In such a situation, immediate hospitalisation is a must. Tests revealed that the culprit was E.coli. A round of antibiotics and drips ensured the child was on the right treatment track, on road to recovery.

What are the common symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection?

Fever is the most prominent symptom. Presence of an unexplained fever is something to worry about.

If this occurs in new-born, symptoms such as jaundice, vomitting, diarrhoea can present along with fever.

In infants, you might see fever with diarrhoea, vomitting, poor appetite.

In slightly older children, haematuria (blood in urine), foul-smelling urine, increased urination frequency can be seen along with the fever.

If the infection travels to the kidneys, it is called Pyelonephritis and this was what the child mentioned above was affected with.

So, what lessons do we gain from this episode? How to deal with urine infection in children?

E.coli or Escherichia coli is a bacterium that is present EVERYWHERE! Contamination can happen anywhere, anytime and in any way. Other "culprits" could be enterococci and staphylococci (both are different bacterial species)

How does it spread?

Improper hygiene is a major cause. Let us see how:

  • Fecal contamination of urine and private parts - soiled diapers or soiled panties could be the culprit

  • Drinking water that may have been contaminated with bacteria

  • Swimming pools can be a cause as well, how? Contamination of pool water with bacteria through some external source

What can you do to ensure good hygiene is maintained?

  • Bathe your child/children twice a day – if you are already doing it, well and good!

  • Change inner garments (undies and briefs/panties) 2 or 3 times daily – if you are a mummy and think this will add to the washing load, please forget the trivial issue, think of the larger picture of hygiene and that you can avoid problems like UTI or any other infection in the future for your child. In case of infants, ensure diapers are changed frequently.

  • Swimming is a healthy sport, but if you think that using a common pool can be a cause for concern, try to avoid it especially when it is rainy or when there is a change in weather pattern.

  • For kids, try to use boiled water for drinking, especially if you are concerned about the water source.  Fluid intake is of prime importance in case of any illness. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids – be it water or juices or young coconut water.

  • If your child is old enough to clean up after attending nature’s call/potty, make it a point to inspect his or her toilet hygiene every now and then. If you think your child may be shy or embarrassed, make it an activity that will give them a reward if they are doing it the right way.

  • Last but not the least, you are not a doctor, unless you are certified and have a degree that says so. Please do not self-medicate, except for Paracetamol. If the symptoms persist, please do not hesitate to take your child to the nearest clinic. Use the GetDoc app to find out if there is a doctor nearby. Save your waiting time and book a doctor appointment on the go! Visit GetDoc website or Download GetDoc app now from Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

  • While going through this illness (UTI), the child will definitely be cranky, so try to maintain your highest patient levels. This too shall pass!

In the case of this child (mentioned above) the infection was detected just in time before it could do any more damage. So please do not delay a doctor’s visit. Your child is more important than anything else, do not wait too long. Whatever illness, big or small, an expert’s opinion always matters. Have you had to go through this with your child? Let us know your experiences!




Hridya Anand

by Hridya Anand

A biochemist by education who could never put what she studied to good use, finally found GetDoc as a medium to do what she loved - bring information to people using a forum that is dedicated to all things medical. View all articles by Hridya Anand.


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