Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Norton Children’s Urology physicians are fellowship trained in pediatric and adolescent urology specialty care. They are the specialists providing urinary tract infection (UTI) care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Our specialists bring skill, respect and sensitivity to caring for your child’s urological needs.
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the bladder or kidneys. Treatment for UTI is easy, and the infection clears up quickly.
Most UTIs occur in the bladder (cystitis). Sometimes the infection can travel to the kidneys (pyelonephritis).
UTIs are relatively common in kids. The condition is more common in girls because they have a shorter urethra. Boys can develop a urinary tract infection, and it’s more likely to occur in uncircumcised boys.
A child gets a UTI when there is abnormal bacteria growth in the urine. Contributing factors may include:
- Exposure to wet diapers
- Holding in urine
- In girls, wiping “back to front” spreads germs
It’s not always obvious when an infant or young child has a UTI. Symptoms in this age group may include:
- Foul-smelling urine
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Decreased appetite
Symptoms in older children may include:
- Urgency to urinate
- Painful urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Abdominal discomfort
- Frequent urination
- Blood in urine
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Fever or chills
- Pain in the back or side
If we suspect your child has a UTI, our team will collect a urine sample. Our lab will perform a test called a urinalysis to check for bacteria. In some cases, the lab may perform a urine culture, which gives more detailed information about the microorganism that may be causing the infection. This will give us a better idea of the antibiotic that’s needed to treat the UTI.
Antibiotics kill bacteria and successfully treat UTIs. Kids with UTIs should drink plenty of fluid, especially water.
We may recommend a pain reliever to ease discomfort. Heating pads typically are not recommended because they can allow bacteria to grow, and there is a chance of a child being burned.
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