Signs A Child Has a UTI

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are caused when bacteria gets inside the urinary tract. This can cause the linings of the bladder, kidneys and the tubes that carry urine to become red and swollen. While UTI’s may cause discomfort for anyone who develops them, symptoms can differ between children and adults.

Signs a Child May Have a UTI

If an older child is experiencing a UTI, they may complain of pain in the low stomach area or back. Many also will cry when they urinate, complain that it hurts to urinate or pass only a few drops at a time.

If a child is too young to tell a caregiver how they feel, signs are more vague. High fevers, general grouchiness and a lack of appetite are common signs of a UTI. Sometimes, a young child only will have a low-grade fever, loose stools or “bad” smelling diaper urine.

Symptoms of a UTI in Children

Some noticeable symptoms of a UTI may include:

  • Pain, burning or a stinging feeling when urinating
  • Urinating often or feeling an urgent need to urinate, even without passing urine
  • Foul-smelling urine that may look cloudy or have blood in it
  • Fever
  • Pain in the lower back or around the bladder

Diagnosis and Treatment

If a caregiver thinks a child has a UTI, they should call a health care provider. The only way to diagnose a UTI is with a urine test.

The primary treatment for a UTI is through oral antibiotics. The antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider will differ based on the child’s age and the type of bacteria causing the problem.

Additionally, drinking lots of fluids and urinating often can help flush out the bacteria quickly.

For more information on UTI diagnosis and treatment, visit the Urology Care Foundation page.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.