News / South Africa / Health

Shenrina Badri
1 minute read
16 Oct 2017
3:53 pm

Can children get urinary tract infections?

Shenrina Badri

It is possible for children to experience urinary tract infections.

Picture: iStock

Yes, children can get urinary tract infections.

Causes of urinary tract infections in children

Bacteria, viral and fungal infections can cause urinary tract infections in children.

Risk factors

The following factors may place a child at a greater risk of getting a urinary tract infection:

Uncircumcised male infants, having a compromised immune system, having a compromised bladder function, sexual activity and poor toilet habits.

Signs and symptoms

Children with an infection may experience: a loss of urinary control (for example, they may wet the bed), pain with urination, the need to urinate frequently, or a compelling urge to urinate.

Other symptoms may include a fever, abdominal pain, and an odour in the urine.


Antobiotics are generally prescribed to treat common urinary tract infections. Your doctor may want to carry out tests as well.

Reducing the chance of infection in children

Some peadiatric urologists suggest the following to help reduce the likelihood of children developing urinary tract infections:

Good hygiene habits

Females should wipe from front to back direction after using the toilet. Males should wash their genitals thoroughly and regularly.

Complete bladder emptying

Children should be encouraged to urinate approximately every two to three hours. In addition, encourage them not to ignore the sensation of a full bladder.


Some specialists suggest the children should avoid sugar, carbonated drinks, high amounts of citrus, caffeine as well as chocolate. Bubble baths should also be limited, whilst drinking cranberry juice should be encouraged.

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