August 29, 2016
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Urinary Tract Infections in Children (cont.)

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What are symptoms and signs of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children?

Characteristic symptoms of a urinary tract infection include

  • pain with urination (dysuria),
  • urinary frequency (needing to urinate frequently),
  • urinary urgency (feeling a compelling urge to urinate), and
  • loss of previously established urinary control (for example, bedwetting).

Nonspecific but common symptoms include fever (especially >102.2 F or 39 C) and abdominal pain. For some children less than 2 years of age, these more subtle problems may be the only indicator of a UTI. Associated symptoms of concern include flank pain, fever, and vomiting. Obvious blood in the urine (gross hematuria) as well as a positive family history for childhood urinary tract infections (especially in siblings) are also red flags and should raise the level of concern. Interestingly, the odor and color (with the exception of obvious blood) of the urine are not predictors of a UTI.

What type of doctors treat UTIs in children?

Most children with a UTI can be appropriately managed by their pediatrician. If kidney function is compromised, a pediatric nephrologist should be consulted. Similarly, if anatomical problems are discovered, a pediatric urologic surgeon (urologist) should help guide the child's evaluation and management.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2016


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