Recurrent UTIs can be very frustrating. UTIs are caused by germs that get into the ureters, urethra, bladder or kidneys. Girls and uncircumcised boys are more prone to UTIs.
Some kids may get the infection again and again, which is called recurrent UTIs. This infection can lead to you kids suddenly starting to wet their bed or pants. You may also notice some other symptoms such as fever, vomiting and loss of appetite.
Managing Recurrent UTIs in Children at Home
At home, these things can help prevent recurrent UTIs in kids:
Encourage kids to drink 2 to 3 litters of water and other fluids each day. Some research suggests that cranberry juice or cranberry supplements can reduce the risk of recurring UTIs. However, resent research suggest that cranberry may not help, but won’t hurt. It is worth trying if you struggle with recurrent UTIs.
Good Bathroom Habits
Frequent peeing and prevention of constipation can help to prevent recurrent infections. Constipation may cause the bladder not to empty very well. A healthy diet which include high fibber should be encouraged.
Girls should wipe from front to back after using the toilet to reduce exposure of germs to the urethra.
Studies suggest that vitamin C acidifies pee, making the environment less friendly to bacteria. Vitamins designed for kids are generally safe, but always ask your doctor before using any supplements or vitamins to determine the potential benefits for you.
Scented Soaps and Bubble Baths
Young girls suffering recurrent UTIs should avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps because they can irritate the urethra. It is important to keep the vaginal area free from irritants.
Kids in Diaper
Frequent diaper change is very important . This prevents stool from getting in the genital area and prolonged contact, which can lead to bacteria moving up the urethra and into the bladder.
Use of breathable cotton underwear will reduce the growth of bacterial near the urethra as compared to tight nylon or other fabrics.
Some children may not like using the school bathroom or may become so engrossed in their activities that they delay taking that bathroom break. In this case, you may need to frequently remind them to go, and also check that they are using the school bathroom during breaks. Peeing regularly at least every 3 to 4 hours helps in diluting the urine, and hence clearing bacteria from it.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
If you suspect that your child has a UTI, call your doctor. After a UTI treatment, it is important to watch out for the return of the symptoms.
If your child has recurrent UTIs, a pediatric urologist can check for abnormalities and prescribe measures to prevent recurring of the UTIs.
Damage To The Kidneys
Another thing to note is, many children who have recurrent or non-recurrent UTIs do not have major problems and have healthy kidneys. However, in some children, UTIs may be as a result of an abnormality of the urinary tract. Reflux is one such abnormality and needs treatment.