• By the time a child is 5 years old, about 8 percent of girls and 1 - 2 percent of boys have had a urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Bacteria are not normally found in urine.
  • UTIs are more common in girls than boys.
  • Infections are more common in the urethra and bladder, which make up the lower part of the urinary tract.
  • Infections that move up to the kidneys can be more serious.
  • If left untreated, these infections have a risk of leading to kidney failure.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs of UTI may be difficult to assess in young not toilet trained children.

  • Pain, or burning when urinating
  • Frequent urination or feeling an increased urge to urinate, even without producing urine
  • Foul-smelling urine that may look cloudy or contain blood
  • Fever
  • Low back pain or pain in the area of the bladder

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • sample of urine will be taken for examination.
  • Older children will most often be asked to urinate in a sterile container.
  • Babies and small children in diapers may need a catheter (tube) to collect urine. The catheter keeps the sample from being contaminated by bacteria on the skin.
  • The type of bacteria found may help decide the best drug to treat the UTI, usually antibiotics.
  • It is important to give your child all the antibiotic course, even if he or she is feeling better.
  • Most UTIs will be cured within a week if treated properly.
  • The child should be urged to drink plenty of fluids.
  • If a child has more than one UTI or has fever along with symptoms of UTI, he or she should see a Urologist.
  • A Urologist will see if anything is abnormal in the child’s urinary tract. A common problem causing UTIs in children is a backwards flow of urine,  condition known as VUR.


  • Frequent diaper changes can help prevent UTIs in babies and small children.
  • When children start toilet training, it is important to teach them good bathroom habits.
  • After each bowel movement, children should wipe from front to rear — not rear to front.
  • When feeling the urge to urinate, children should also avoid “holding it” if they can reach a bathroom. Urine remaining in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.

If in doubt, consult a pediatrician or a urologist immediately.