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

Are there any home remedies for UTIs in children?

Home remedy suggestions for UTIs in adults are legion, and unfortunately many have no scientific basis in fact. Fewer still have been shown to be safe and possibly effective in children. Those that do fulfill such criteria include the following:

  1. Unsweetened cranberry or blueberry juice: These juices reportedly lessen the adherence of infective bacteria to the bladder wall and thus allow them to be expelled in urine.
  2. Pineapple: This fruit contains a chemical (bromelain) that reportedly possesses anti-inflammatory properties and thus reduces UTI symptoms.
  3. Yogurt: Some studies have indicated a benefit in consumption of this product. The exact mechanism of benefit is unclear at this time.
  4. Increase in overall fluid intake (for example, water): This would dilute bacteria concentration and allow more effective "flushing out" of harmful bacteria.

Perhaps the best therapy is prevention.

How long do UTIs in children last?

Once an effective antibiotic has been selected and administered, most patients experience a rapid and permanent resolution of their symptoms. Recurrent UTIs raise a concern regarding anatomical abnormalities of the urinary tract (for example, kidney malformation). Similarly, malfunction of the urinary tract (for example, reflux of urine from the bladder to the kidney) is another condition commonly associated with recurrent UTIs.

Are UTIs in children contagious?

Urinary tract infections are not contagious. They are not acquired by sharing a bath with another child who has a UTI. Likewise, they cannot be acquired from sitting on a contaminated toilet seat.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2016

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