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What are Pediatric UTIs?

Written by Eden A

Edited by Shania Sheth and Jocelyn Wang

A UTI, short for urinary tract infection, is an acute illness common in infants and children. Testing a UTI in children and infants is based on the risk factors and age range. For example, there are urine tests where a urine sample is collected, and these tests may come in many forms, for example, cystography, antibiotics and even urine samples are helpful.

The two types of UTIs in toddlers are a lower UTI which is an infection in the bladder. As well, an upper UTI is an infection in the kidney (one or both). UTIs in children are very common and research shows that before age seven, one in twelve girls and one in fifty boys will have this infection, but they are not a contagious type of disease. In babies, a lot of fevers occur as well as poor growth, throwing up and exhaustion are the main causes. In older kids, there is a frequent urge to urinate, painful or difficult urination like burning, and aching or being sick often.

Kidney and bladder ultrasonography is helpful to identify any complications caused. As well, any specific details of being aware and learning more information can prevent a UTI from occurring. But it’s important to remember that a UTI is not a sexually transmitted disease.

Children may need to be hospitalized for a UTI if they are really young, have a fever or high temperature, have back pain, or dehydration, are unable to tolerate oral antibiotics or if the infection spreads to the bloodstream. These infections should also be taken care of right away if a child shows up throwing up, decreases in drinking, increases pain, or becomes more/less active. Some main causes include bacteria from the tract that may live in the colon.

You can prevent getting a UTI in the future by drinking lots of water, and emptying the bladder to make sure it’s fully emptied, as well as by being taught properly to wipe the front and back after using the washroom.

Thanks for reading this article on Pediatric UTIs! We hope you learned about this condition that is not commonly discussed, as well as ways to prevent it.

Until next time,

Eden and the Writing Committee :)


Urinary tract infections (UTI) in children. Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in Children | Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2019, November 19). Retrieved February 26, 2023, from

Uti in toddlers & children: Causes, symptoms & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2023, from

Hospital, C. (n.d.). Pediatric infectious diseases: UC Davis Children's hospital. Pediatric Infectious Diseases | UC Davis Children's Hospital. Retrieved February 26, 2023, from

Veauthier, B., & Miller, M. V. (2020, September 1). Urinary tract infections in young children and infants: Common questions and answers. American Family Physician. Retrieved February 26, 2023, from

Weinberg, G. A. (2023, February 14). Urinary tract infection (UTI) in children - pediatrics. MSD Manual Professional Edition. Retrieved February 26, 2023, from

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