CHILDHOOD URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Urine infections are fairly common in young children with up to 5% of girls and 1% of boys developing a urinary infection before the age of 10 years. This results from organisms such as bacteria causing an infection in the urinary passages. It is important to ensure that children suspected as having urine infections are seen and treated by their doctor.
Urine infections may develop different symptoms depending on the age of the child. In a newborn baby, they may have high fever, be irritable and unsettled, and may experience vomiting, diarrhoea or poor weight gain. An older child may also have high fever, vomiting, become very irritable and in children who are able to talk, they may complain of a soreness or burning feeling when passing urine.
Some children may pass urine more frequently when they have an infection. Some children may also have accidents with passing urine unconsciously when they are previously toilet trained.
The child should be seen by a doctor who will request a sample of urine to test for bacteria. The child will then be placed on antibiotics if the urine suggests or confirms an infection. Antibiotics are usually given for at least one week. Children younger than 5 years usually have to undergo further tests to rule out any underlying problem in their urinary tract which might make them susceptible to frequent infections. Some children may need to have antibiotics everyday for some years to keep the urinary tract clear and prevent the child from having further infections
Recurrent infections can damage the kidneys or result in hypertension (high blood pressure), therefore infections in the urinary tract in children, although treatable, need to be taken seriously.
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