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Blood in the Urine in Children: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Blood in the urine, or hematuria, may make your child's urine look red, brown, or pink. There may be blood every time your child urinates or just from time to time. You can't always see blood in the urine, but it will show up in a urine test.

Blood in the urine may be serious. It should always be checked by a doctor. Your doctor may recommend more tests. These tests may include a blood test, a CT scan, a kidney ultrasound, or a cystoscopy (which lets a doctor look inside the urethra and bladder).

Blood in the urine can be a sign of another problem. Common causes are bladder infections and kidney stones. An injury to your child's groin or genital area can also cause bleeding in the urinary tract. Very hard exercise—such as running a long race—can cause blood in the urine.

Blood in the urine can also be a sign of kidney disease.

Many cases of blood in the urine are caused by a harmless condition that runs in families. This is called benign familial hematuria. It does not need any treatment.

Sometimes your child's urine may look red or brown even though it does not contain blood. For example, this can happen if your child doesn't get enough fluids (is dehydrated). Or it can happen if your child takes certain medicines or has a liver problem. Eating foods such as beets, rhubarb, blackberries, or foods with red food colouring can make your child's urine look red or pink.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has symptoms of a urinary infection. For example:
    • Your child has pus in the urine.
    • Your child has pain in the back just below the rib cage. This is called flank pain.
    • Your child has a fever, chills, or body aches.
    • It hurts your child to urinate.
    • Your child has groin or belly pain.
  • Your child has more blood in the urine.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child has new urination problems.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.