Urinary Tract Infection in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Urinary tract

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection that can occur anywhere between the kidneys and the urethra (where the urine comes out). Most UTIs are in the bladder. They often cause fever and pain when the child urinates.

UTIs must be treated right away in infants and children. An infection that is not treated quickly can lead to kidney infection. Children who take medicine to treat the infection usually heal completely.

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 call line 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.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • The doctor may also give your child a medicine to ease the burning pain of a UTI. This will often turn the urine red or orange. The urine will return to its normal colour after your child stops the medicine.
  • Try to get your child to drink extra fluids for the next 24 hours. This will help flush bacteria out of the bladder. Do not give your child drinks that have caffeine or that are carbonated. They can make the bladder sore.
  • Tell your child to urinate often and to empty his or her bladder each time.
  • A warm bath may help your child feel better.

Preventing future UTIs

  • Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water each day. This helps your child urinate often, which clears bacteria from the body.
  • Encourage your child to urinate as soon as he or she needs to.

When should you call for help?

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

  • Your child is vomiting and cannot keep the medicine down.
  • Your child cannot urinate at all.
  • Your child has a new or higher fever or chills.
  • Your child gets a new pain in the back just below the rib cage. This is called flank pain. (A very young child will not be able to tell you whether he or she has flank pain.)
  • Your child's symptoms do not improve, or they go away and then return. These symptoms may include pain or burning when your child urinates; cloudy or discoloured urine; a bad smell to the urine; or not being able to pass much urine.

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

  • Your child does not start to get better within 2 days.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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