Overview

Urinary tract infections in children are common and often not serious. The most effective treatment is usually antibiotics.

Symptoms

While the symptoms are easier to communicate in adults, it can be more difficult identifying a UTI in a child. This is because the symptoms are often the same as other general illnesses, such as high temperature, vomiting and a lack of energy. However, other more obvious symptoms can occur such as finding it painful to pee, needing to pee more frequently, lower back or abdomen pain, cloudy or bloody wee and pee that smells differently to normal.

Diagnosis

The best way to diagnose a UTI is through a urine test. Further tests may be required, particularly if the child is young, but otherwise it should be relatively straightforward.

Treatment

Antibiotics are usually the first treatment option and can mostly be taken orally at home. Once a course of antibiotics has started, it should take around one to two days for the symptoms to ease.

For babies or children with more severe symptoms, hospitalisation may be needed in order to provide antibiotics more quickly, such as through a drip.

If a child has had multiple UTIs, it is important to see whether there is an underlying condition or an environmental cause that has not been identified and prevented. A GP or urologist should be able to help with any further investigations that are required and provide advice on treatment options.

Meet our specialists

Mr Zafar Maan a urologist in East Anglia
Mr Zafar Maan

BSc (Hons) MSc (Urol) MA (Clin Ed) FRCS (Urol)

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Mr Sam Datta a urologist in East Anglia
Mr Sam Datta

BSc MSc MD FRCS (Urol) PGCME

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Mr Rajiv Pillai a urologist in East Anglia
Mr Rajiv Pillai

MSc MS FRCS (Urol) FEBU

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