Do babies get UTIs?

Do little babies get urinary tract infections?

The answer is, of course, yes. A review of the literature* indicates that urinary tract infections are more common among newborns who already have a generalized high level of bacteria in their blood. The bacteria travels in the blood to the urinary system and spreads the infection there. Or another cause of UTIs in babies might be a deformity in the structure of the urinary tract.

Older children tend to get urinary tract infections from bacteria which reaches the bladder through their urethra (the opening where the urine comes out). Once at the bladder, the bacteria can cause varying degrees of inflammation. What is missing from the articles I read is the suggestion that there are many children who have the bacteria travel to their bladders but who do not actually get a urinary tract infection (inflammation).
The symptoms of a urinary infection are difficult to pick up in a pre-verbal child/infant. They are said to include:
*low fever and possibly unusal lethargy
*frequent urination (as a parent, you are the expert in awareness of
your child's elimination patterns and will know when they are
'out of pattern')
*pain or burning urination with cloudiness or blood tinges
*for a child who has been bladder trained, renewed wetting
*loose bowels and vomiting
*"failure to thrive" for infants

These symptoms could also indicate other infections so it is a good idea to get your health practictioner involved.

Conventional medical practice generally treats urinary tract infections with antibiotics. Invasive testing is suggested for determining the cause of the problem. One article suggests that some day in the near future it is hoped that there will be a vaccine to prevent UTIs! At this point in time, as one article states, "it is not clearly known why some children get UTIs and others don't."

As with adult health and wellness, prevention is the best cure. Look for supports to gaining the best health in your own life and providing the best health example and supports to your child. It shouldn't hurt to be a child! Excellent hygiene and nutrition habits will pay in huge benefits throughout your child's life.

National Kidney Foundation
National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse
Family Doctor
Family Education
Dr. Reddy

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