Urinary Problems and Injuries, Age 11 and Younger (cont.)
The following may help prevent urinary problems in children.
- Encourage your child to drink more fluids. Water is best. This will help dilute the urine, flush bacteria out of the bladder, and decrease irritation.
- Do not give your child carbonated or caffeinated beverages, which can irritate the bladder wall.
- Wash the genital area once a day with plain water or mild soap. Rinse well and dry thoroughly.
- Use gentle soaps, such as hypoallergenic soaps, and use as little soap as possible.
- Do not use deodorant soaps on your child.
- Avoid bubble baths, powders, and perfumed soaps, which can irritate and dry the skin.
- Wash your child's clothes with a mild soap rather than a detergent. Rinse twice to remove all traces of the cleaning product. Avoid strong detergents.
- Change your child's diapers when wet and immediately after a bowel movement. Wash your hands before and after each diaper change.
- Wipe your child from front to back when changing a diaper or helping with the toilet, and teach children to wipe in this direction. This may reduce the spread of bacteria from the anus to the urethra.
- Dress your child in cotton underwear and loose clothing.
- Encourage older children to urinate whenever they feel the need.
- Avoid constipation. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 11 and Younger.
Preparing For Your Appointment
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your child's doctor diagnose and treat your child's condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
- What are your child's symptoms?
- When did the symptoms start?
- What do you think may have caused the symptoms?
- Has your child had a fever?
- Has your child ever had a problem like this in the past? If so, when? What was done to treat it?
- Does your family have a history of urinary problems?
- Has your child had a recent injury to the belly, pelvis, or back?
- What home treatments have you tried, and how effective were they?
- Does your child have any health risks?
A urine specimen may be collected during your child's office visit. Do not encourage your child to go to the bathroom immediately before the office visit. Special urine collection bags or a catheter may be used to collect urine from a baby or toddler who is not toilet trained.