Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Children

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Quick GuideUrinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms Pictures Slideshow

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms Pictures Slideshow

What causes urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children?

Bacteria cause the large majority of urinary tract infections in children. Viral infection of the bladder is less common, while fungal infections of the urinary tract are rare and occur most commonly in immunocompromised individuals (for example, those with HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy recipients).

What are risk factors for UTIs in children?

Risk factors predisposing for childhood UTIs include the following:

  1. Male gender, especially uncircumcised infants
  2. Poor toilet habits: Children should be encouraged to urinate every two to three hours.
  3. Poor toilet hygiene: Females should always wipe front to back to avoid introduction of stool bacteria to the urethral opening.
  4. Individuals with a compromised immune system or compromised bladder function (for example, spinal cord injury victims who require self-catheterization)
  5. Sexual activity
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2016

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