Urine infection in babies, the symptoms of urinary tract infections are not the same as in adults. Urine infection in babies is, therefore, difficult to identify. A urine test is necessary to establish the correct diagnosis and to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

1. Urine infection in babies; What is a UTI?

A urine infection is characterized by an abnormally high level of bacteria in the urine. It is a condition that is relatively common in young children. UTIs are very treatable and have virtually no consequences if diagnosed early. Usually, bacteria first colonize the urethra and bladder before moving up to the kidneys. It is, therefore, necessary to be very attentive to the symptoms.

2. Urine infection in babies symptoms

Typical signs of a UTI are absent in the baby. An isolated fever must suggest a urinary tract infection in infants. Between 4 and 10% of infants who have a fever without an explanation have a urinary tract infection. The urinary tract infection can also manifest itself in the baby by digestive symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea ...), which are the foreground signs. Other signs are less specific: a bad smell of urine, insufficient weight gain, irritability, listlessness, difficulty breastfeeding, and trouble sleeping. Young children who talk may complain that it stings when they urinate. If the baby has a fever accompanied by chills, a change in the color of the skin, if his general condition is in alteration, it is a medical emergency in the hospital, they will take a blood test and a urinalysis to see if there is pyelonephritis, upper urinary tract infection.

2.1 Urine infection in babies and temperature: how much, why, what to give?

A urinary tract infection is often signaled by a high fever (39 ° - 40 °) isolated. However, cystitis (urinary tract infection of the lower tract) may not cause a fever. You may reduce the fever with the administration of Paracetamol. However, do not give treatment to your baby with an isolated fever above 38 without seeking medical advice. The baby should start antibiotic treatment quickly to avoid complications from pyelonephritis.

2.2 Urinary tract infection without fever: is it possible?

Cystitis without fever is possible. When the infection affects the kidneys, however, the fever is very often high and accompanied by chills or even a deterioration of the general condition.

3. Causes of urine infection in babies: why do babies get urine infections?

Baby's urinary tract infections are often linked to an abnormality of the urinary tract or to vesicoureteric reflux. This vesicoureteric reflux is the most frequent renal pathology in children (80% of cases); it corresponds to the ascent of urine from the bladder to the kidney. It is very common, especially in girls; it is equivalent to an obstacle on the urinary tract since there is never a complete emptying of the bladder. The most frequent urinary abnormalities are stenosis of the pyelo-ureteral junction, lithiasis, ureterocele, primary mega-ureter. These malformations most often require surgical treatment. This is why a kidney and bladder ultrasound are necessary in addition to urinalysis in case of urinary tract infection in a child up to 2-3 years old. This shows that the urinary tract is not dilated or if the flow is abnormal. Other contributing factors are prematurity, indwelling urinary catheters, constipation, and Hirschsprung's disease.

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4. Urine infection in babies; How to diagnose urinary tract infection in babies?

On the appearance of a symptom and in the slightest doubt, a consultation with a doctor or pediatrician is necessary. The doctor will first do a test using a urine dipstick. If the result is positive, he will prescribe a urinalysis to determine the causative organism. While waiting for the results, he will give antibiotic treatment and a follow up for 8 to 10 days.

The doctor will carry out additional examinations to detect a possible urological malformation. Newborns and infants less than 3 months old may need hospitalization to monitor progress. Cases of pyelonephritis (infection affecting the kidneys) also require hospitalization.

5. Urine infection in babies; treatment; how are UTI treated in babies?

While waiting for the urine culture results, the doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria that are causing the infection. Try not to miss a dose and make sure your child is taking all prescribed medicines. He will probably feel better within 48 hours of starting the medication. However, do not stop the medication for this reason. Go until the end of the prescription to prevent the urinary tract infection from coming back. Meanwhile, here are some other ways to help your child:

  • Give him plenty of fluids to help the infection go away.
  • If urination is painful, or if the child has a fever over 38.5 ° C (101 ° F), give acetaminophen or ibuprofen according to package directions.
  • Two days after starting antibiotics, bring your child back to the doctor to get the urine culture results and to make sure the antibiotics are working properly. Your doctor may want to check the child's urine again in a few weeks.
  • If your child has back pain or seems very sick, take him to the doctor immediately. You should also see a doctor if the fever or painful urination continues for 48 hours after starting antibiotics.

6. Urine infection in babies; How to avoid urinary tract infection in babies?

To prevent the onset of a urinary tract infection in babies and children, apply these simple principles:

  • Give him enough drink throughout the day. Insufficient hydration can, indeed, promote urinary tract infections.
  • Fight against constipation by a varied diet rich in fiber, adapted to his age.
  • When changing the diaper, always clean well from front to back so as not to bring stools forward. A gesture to teach the older child who goes to the bathroom on his own.
  • Explain to the young child that he should not refrain from peeing when he feels like it.

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Originally published on Live Positively.