If you thought urinary tract infections were something that only happened to older people, think again. UTIs, also known as urinary tract infections, are extremely common in babies and can cause serious health problems if not treated properly. Here’s what you need to know about these dangerous infections and how to prevent them from happening in the first place!
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of one or more parts of your urinary system, including your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Though they’re not common among babies and toddlers, UTIs do occur among children age two and younger. Young children’s bladders are small, making it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Additionally, young children often don’t have full control over their bladders due to undeveloped sphincter muscles that prevent urine from entering a baby’s rectum. The resulting infection can range from mild to life-threatening. That said: Most UTIs in babies are easily treated with antibiotics.
Why Are UTIs So Common In Babies?
Kid’s little bodies are small and more fragile, making them more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs). A baby’s immune system is not fully developed, which means bacteria and other contaminants can quickly overwhelm their body. UTIs also run in families; if one child has a UTI, it’s likely other children have or will get one as well.
If you have kids you might want to talk to your pediatrician about giving them cranberry juice, a natural remedy that helps prevent bacterial growth from sticking to tissues within your urinary tract. Cranberry juice contains an active ingredient called proanthocyanidins that attaches itself to bacteria and flushes it out of your bladder.
How Do I Know If My Baby Has A UTI?
Typically, UTIs present with blood or mucus in your baby’s urine. Other common symptoms include frequent urination and fussiness during feeds. If you notice any of these symptoms, check with your pediatrician to make sure it’s not a more serious condition like pneumonia or kidney infection. It’s important to note that some newborns will have trace amounts of blood or mucus in their urine and it won’t be anything to worry about. Unfortunately, for those babies who do have an infection, antibiotic treatment is necessary because infections can quickly become serious when left untreated.
Signs Of A UTI In Your Baby
Symptoms of a UTI include fever, difficulty urinating, and/or pain while passing urine. If your baby has one or more of these symptoms, contact his/her pediatrician right away. Even if you don’t see anything wrong with your baby’s genital area, it’s still important to talk to his/her doctor—as many babies with UTIs have no symptoms at all. In fact, most babies diagnosed with UTIs are found to have them during routine well-baby checkups.
This means that parents can play an important role in detecting UTIs early on by closely monitoring their baby for any signs of discomfort when urinating. It’s also a good idea to watch for any other changes (such as fussiness) that could indicate something is wrong even if there aren’t any obvious symptoms. The earlier a UTI is caught, the easier it will be to treat and avoid serious complications down the road. And remember: Not every symptom of a urinary tract infection is going to be present every time someone gets one—so pay attention!
When To Call Your Doctor
Whether you’re a baby, child or adult, if you have signs of a UTI (such as pain when peeing, frequent peeing and urgent need to pee), contact your doctor immediately. Young babies with UTIs can get seriously ill very quickly. If you’re unsure whether it’s an infection, try delaying treatment for 24 hours to see if symptoms improve on their own. But ultimately always check with your pediatrician first. While urinary tract infections are more common in women than men, they can happen to anyone—including infants. In fact, about 10 percent of all babies who visit a primary care physician will be diagnosed with at least one UTI before age 1.
This is largely because female anatomy makes it easier for bacteria to travel up from the vagina into the urethra and bladder. The same isn’t true for male anatomy, which makes males much less susceptible to bladder infections than females are.
How Is A UTI Treated In A Baby?
It’s best to prevent UTIs by making sure that baby is drinking plenty of water. Be careful about giving too much juice or other sugary drinks, though—especially if your baby is bottle-fed. Also, make sure you’re changing her diaper frequently (and thoroughly cleaning her bum), especially when she is being changed immediately after a bowel movement.
And be on the lookout for signs of pain or discomfort like crying, fussiness and irritability—those are all classic indications that something may be wrong down there. If you think your baby might have a UTI, it’s best to call a doctor right away; an antibiotic can clear up most cases of UTI quickly so you can get back to life as usual!
Precautions For Future Prevention
The reason it’s important to keep an eye on your baby’s health is because these infections are becoming increasingly common, especially among young children. It’s estimated that UTIs will affect up to 40% of all babies at some point during their first year of life. Furthermore, UTIs can cause kidney damage and even kidney failure if left untreated. However, you can help your baby avoid urinary tract infections by taking preventative measures early on.
If your infant ever shows signs of infection or pain while urinating, take him or her to a doctor immediately as soon as possible so they can be properly diagnosed and treated accordingly. After receiving antibiotics and treatment, repeat with a urinalysis once every few weeks to make sure they haven’t contracted another infection again.