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Pediatrics Common Questions, Quick Answers

Urinary Tract Infections

Donna D'Alessandro, M.D.
Lindsay Huth, B.A.
Peer Review Status: Internally Reviewed
Creation Date: December 2001
Last Revision Date: April 2002


Common Questions, Quick Answers

What is a urinary tract infection?

What causes a UTI?

Who can get UTIs?

What are the symptoms of a UTI?
Symptoms of a UTI are different depending on your child's age and where the infection is. Infections can either be in the lower tract or the upper tract.

Bladder/Lower tract infection
  • A lower tract infection is also called a bladder infection.
  • Young children and infants may seem fussy, vomit, and have diarrhea.
  • Young children with a UTI may not eat well or gain expected weight.
  • Children might have a burning feeling when they urinate or urinate more often.
  • Children might feel like they have to urinate more often but actually release very little urine.
  • Although uncommon, children might wet their pants.
  • The child may have low back pain, stomach pain below the navel, or a long-lasting fever.
  • Urine might smell bad, be a cloudy or unusual color, or have blood in it.

Kidney/Upper tract infection
  • An upper tract infection could also be a kidney infection.
  • Many of the symptoms are the same as for a lower tract infection.
  • Your child might have a fever and chills.
  • An upper UTI can cause pain on the side, below the ribs.
  • Children who have an upper UTI may be tired, vomit, and look very ill.

Are UTIs contagious?

How are UTIs treated?

How long does a UTI last?

Can UTIs be prevented?

When should I call the doctor?

Quick Answers

References

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