Urinary infection is a common problem during childhood. In India almost 1 in …children suffer from at least one episode of urine infection during first 5 year of life. Contrary to adult or older children it is more frequent in boys than girls in first year of life, this is probably because boys have more chance of having some form of underlying congenital anomaly of urinary tract which means some form of birth defects in kidney ureter and bladder or more commonly lower down the urethra i.e. in the urine path. Also, children are more prone as they are not always properly maintaining personal hygiene especially during the period of toilet training. When they achieve urinary control, they have tendency to postponed going to toilet when they are in middle of some play, or in classroom, even sometimes to avoid going to dirty toilet in schools or other public places. Children with constipation, diseases of bowel (bladder bowel syndrome) have impacted stool matter in bowel which presses upon the nearby urinary bladder and causes urine to stay in urinary bladder for a long time.
As happens with stagnant water in water pools, we can see green algae growing over such water urine stasis also cause it to get infected. The same is true when child has some defect in urinary tract which gives obstruction in downward flow of water and sometimes having complained of difficulty in passing urine, child giving force when passing urine or even thin urine stream. So unlike adults, urinary infection in children may not be just simple infection but there is possibility of some underlying defect in urinary tract because of which a particular child is predisposed to urine infection. So, young child who had even one single urine infection needs proper evaluation and treatment of the underlying cause if any to avoid future occurrence of such illness.
To avoid urine infection in child, what parents can do?
- Encourage drinking plenty of water so that he/she passes more urine
- Avoid constipation: more fiber in diet, less junk food, more water, make the child seat in toilet in morning and after major meal
- Encourage child to pass urine at intervals and insist not to postponed going to toilet
- School authorities to encourage child to go to toilet during short/ long recesses, make sure that school toilets are clean
- Actively teach child about personal hygiene like cleaning from front to back after passing urine/ stool. These habits should be incorporated when child is getting toilet trained.
- Avoid giving over the counter medicines for fever or any other illness. Urine infection may be cause of fever without any other symptoms like frequent or burning urination which, many a times small children may not be able to express