Urinary Tract Infections in Children
Antibiotic medicine and home care are effective in treating most Reference urinary tract infections (UTIs) Opens New Window in infants and children. The main goal of treatment is to prevent kidney damage and its short- and long-term complications by eliminating the infection quickly and completely. Early evaluation and treatment are very important. Do not delay calling a doctor if you think your baby or young child may have a UTI.
Infants and young children with urinary tract infections (UTIs) need early treatment to prevent kidney damage. Your doctor is likely to base the first treatment decision on your child's symptoms and Reference urinalysis Opens New Window results rather than waiting for the results of a urine culture.
Treatment for most children with UTIs is oral Reference antibiotics Opens New Window and home care. If your child is younger than 3 months, is too nauseated or sick to take oral medicines, or has an Reference impaired immune system Opens New Window, a brief hospital stay and a short course of Reference intravenous (IV) Opens New Window antibiotics may be needed. After your child's fever and other symptoms improve and he or she is feeling better, the doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics. The number of days a child will need to take these medicines depends on the illness, the child's age, and the type of antibiotic.
Treatment if the condition gets worse or recurs
If your child's urinary tract infection (UTI) does not improve after treatment with antibiotics, he or she needs further evaluation and may need more antibiotics. Your child may have a structural problem that is making the infection hard to treat. Or the cause of the infection may be different from the types of bacteria that usually cause UTIs.
If the infection spreads and affects kidney function or causes widespread infection (Reference sepsis), your child may be hospitalized. These complications are rare, but they can be very serious. Children with impaired immune systems, untreated Reference urinary tract obstructions, and other conditions that affect the kidneys or bladder are at higher risk for complications.
Recurrent UTIs increase the risk of long-term kidney damage and Reference high blood pressure Opens New Window. The doctor may prescribe preventive antibiotic therapy after treatment for a first UTI if your child has a structural problem, such as vesicoureteral reflux, that increases the risk of repeat infections, or if your child has more than two UTIs in a 6-month period. Doctors disagree about whether long-term use of low-dose antibiotics can safely prevent UTIs in children. Reference Antibiotic resistance Opens New Window is one concern.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology