UTI - children; Cystitis - children; Bladder infection - children; Kidney infection - children; Pyelonephritis - children
Young children with UTIs may only have a fever, poor appetite, vomiting, or no symptoms at all.
Most urinary tract infections in children only involve the bladder. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, it is called pyelonephritis and may be more serious.
Symptoms of a bladder infection in children include:
Symptoms that the infection may have spread to the kidneys include:
A urine sample is needed to diagnose a UTI in children. The sample is examined under a microscope and sent to a lab for a urine culture.
In children who are not toilet trained, getting a urine sample can be difficult. The test cannot be done using a wet diaper. Possible ways to collect a urine sample in very young children include:
If this is your child's first UTI, special imaging tests may be done to find out why the infection happened, or to see if there is any kidney damage. Tests may include:
These studies may be done while the child has an infection. Most often they are done weeks to several months afterward.
Your doctor will consider many things when deciding if and when a special study is needed, including:
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Williams G, Craig JC. Long-term antibiotics for preventing recurrent urinary tract infection in chidlren. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Mar 16:(3):CD001534.
Craig JC, Simpson JM, Williams GJ, et al. Antibiotic prophylaxis and recurrent urinary tract infection in children. N Engl J Med. 2009 Oct 29;361(18):1748-59.
Skoog SJ, Peters CA, Arant BS Jr, et al. Pediatric Vesicoureteral Reflux Guidelines Panel Summary Report: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Screening Siblings of Children With Vesicoureteral Reflux and Neonates/Infants With Prenatal Hydronephrosis. J Urol. 2010 Sep;184(3):1145-51.
Shaikh N, Morone NE, Lopez J, Chianese J, Sangvai S, D'Amico F, Hoberman A, Wald ER. Does this child have a urinary tract infection? JAMA. 2007;298:2895-2904.
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