Urinary Problems and Injuries, Age 11 and Younger (cont.)
Check Your Symptoms
Starting home treatment at the first minor signs of an urinary tract infection may prevent the problem from getting worse and help clear up your child's infection.
- Encourage your child to drink extra fluids as soon as you notice the symptoms and for the next 24 hours. This will help dilute the urine, flush bacteria out of the bladder, and decrease irritation. Cranberry or blueberry juice may be a good choice.
- Do not give your child caffeinated or carbonated beverages, which can irritate the bladder.
- Encourage your child to urinate often and to empty his or her bladder each time.
- A warm bath may help soothe your child's genital pain and itching. Avoid using bubble bath or perfumed soaps, which may cause genital skin irritation. It is okay if your child urinates in the bath water. This may help relieve some of his or her pain.
- Skin irritation may increase your child's discomfort.
- Look at your child's genital area with each diaper change. Increased redness may mean skin irritation. Avoid further irritation by changing your child's diapers often. For more information, see the topic Diaper Rash.
- Air-dry the skin on your child's bottom when possible.
- An allergy to soap or laundry detergent may be causing your child's skin irritation. If you think this may be the problem, try a different product that is unscented, such as CheerFree or Ecover, rather than a detergent. Rinse twice to remove all traces of the cleaning product. Avoid strong detergents.
- Use gentle soaps, such as Basis, Cetaphil, Dove, or Oil of Olay, and use as little soap as possible. Do not use deodorant soaps on your child.
Constipation may be present if your child is not drinking enough fluids. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 11 and Younger.
If your child has been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection
- Follow all home care instructions your child's doctor gave you.
- Give your child his or her medicine exactly as prescribed. If you are having difficulty giving the medicine, call your child's doctor for advice.
- Follow up with your child's doctor as instructed after your child has finished the course of antibiotics. Many children will require further testing. For more information, see the topic Urinary Tract Infections in Children.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- Your child is unable to urinate (retention) or has a dry diaper for longer than 12 hours.
- New urinary symptoms develop, such as localized back pain (flank pain) or blood in urine (hematuria).
- Other symptoms such as fever or vomiting develop.
- Symptoms become more frequent, do not improve, get worse, or interfere with daily activities.