9 common signs of UTI in kids that you must watch out for!

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Watch out for these signs and symptoms for early detection of UTI in your child.

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Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections that distresses children and is a major concern for parents. If not treated on time, it may permanently damage the kidney in certain cases. Your child is at the highest risk of UTI in the first year, as occurrences of first-time symptomatic UTI are the highest during this phase.

In infants especially those younger than 2 years, fever is the only symptom of UTI. Hence you should do regular fever checks during the first year.

A case of a 10-year-old who wore a diaper to school!

Myelomeningocele, a type of spina bifida can also lead to problem of urinary incontinence in children (leaking of urine). This was reported in a case in Bangalore, where 10-year-old Reena (name changed) had to wear a diaper to school as she was suffering from UTI. Reena was born with Myelomeningocele and underwent a surgery when she was just 8 days old.

Her condition improved but the problem of incontinence persisted. The problem aggravated when she turned 10. For her proper treatment, her parents consulted Dr Mukunda Ramachandra, Consultant - Pediatric Surgery at the, Columbia Asia Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore.

“We conducted MCU and UDS tests on the baby. These tests showed that her kidneys were being affected because of the urine incontinence problem, and the urinary bladder walls had also become thick. The bladder had distorted in shape,” said Dr Mukunda.

Finally, after a 10-hour long surgery, Reena is doing well and can lead a normal childhood.

“According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, each year around 1500 babies are born with spina bifida. It’s important to treat the problem of incontinence on time, as most kids suffering from this issue can develop kidney problems in the long term and are then required to undergo kidney transplant. For a successful transplant, it is important to treat incontinence first and make the bladder stable,” added the doctor.

Common Signs And Symptoms Of UTI In Children

Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms to look out for urinary tract infection in children, as suggested by Dr. Mukunda:

  1. Pain in the urinary area
  2. Urgent need to urinate
  3. Crying during urination
  4. Abdominal or pelvic pain
  5. Fever (only in case of infants)
  6. Vomiting or diarrhoea
  7. Lack of appetite
  8. Failure to gain weight or develop normally
  9. Foul smelling urine

Continue reading on the next page to know about the about the preventive measures to prevent UTI in kids!

Preventive Measures

As suggested by Dr. Mukunda, here are some preventive measures you can take to avoid the risk of UTI in your children:

  • Keep your child hydrated throughout the day by including fruit juices, tender coconut water and healthy shakes of his/her choice.
  • Include fibre rich foods in your child’s diet, such as apples, bananas, oranges, legumes, green peas and almonds to ease bowel movement. This will help to avoid constipation in children which can also increase the risk of UTI.
  • Prepare an exercise schedule to facilitate easy bowel movement.
  • Encourage your child to empty the bladder at regular intervals. This is important because some children get engrossed in playing and avoid going to the washroom, which increases the risk of UTI.
  • Teach your child to properly clean up after using the washroom to avoid bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
  • Make your child wear loose-fitting clothes to reduce the risk of bacterial growth. The moisture trapped in wet clothes can lead to the growth of bacteria, increasing the risk of UTI.
  • Using cotton inner wear can help prevent the risk, as cotton lets in air to keep the area dry.

Also Read: Attention mums these are the worst foods for your child's brain 

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