Urinary tract infection in kids

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My barely 3-year old got urinary tract infection (UTI) two weeks ago. My husband and I were so devastated.

I recalled as to the cause of her UTI and three factors could have accounted for it:

  1. Sometimes she controlled peeing because she’s being potty-trained.
  2. The turkey sausage she ate at the resto
  3. Her dirty/soiled diaper at night
  4. Less intake of water

Of the three possible causes, I think the no. 1 factor was the turkey sausage that she ate at a resto inside the Avenues Mall, plus less intake of water.

I still vividly remember the day I brought my toddler to the mall. She ate a lot during that day. She even vomited because she was overfeeding. She was so hungry that she was almost able to consume a lot of the turkey sausage and the mashed potato. The next morning, she ate at home – hotdog – because she asked for it. She could not forget the turkey sausage (which she called hotdog) so she asked for it at home for two more meals. The next morning, there was nothing unusual with her. But towards the end of the night, my youngest baby was grumpy; she was crying for no reason at all. That’s when my 1st born was awakened by her little sister. My husband then carried our first born, and asked her if she wanted to stay in the living room as daddy finished his work in his laptop. That night, our toddler was running a fever of 38.5 degrees Celsius. I panicked. Before we got her temperature, she was crying because she was having a hard time passing urine. That was the time we decided to bring her to the Emergency Room.  Before bringing her to the hospital, I gave her 60ml dosage of green barley.

When we reached the hospital, the doctor prescribed a suppository for her fever. Since it wasn’t known yet that it was UTI, she wasn’t given medicine yet for her urine problem. After sometime of waiting at the hospital bed in the ER, my baby peed a lot. It was all because of green barley! It took us several attempts to get urine sample into the pediatric urine container. While waiting for the results of the urine culture, she was given a medicine but was stopped when she was tested for UTI because the medicine was not compatible with the microorganisms. She was having loose stools with her previous medicine for a week! Results of the urine culture showed that she got UTI. She was given a new medication by her fave baby doctor H – suprax. Along with Suprax, we continued on administering high dosage of green barley. After 10 days, my baby was seen by her baby doctor. She was clear of any infection by just looking at her physically. A followup urine culture was made three days ago. I just got the results today. Thank God, she’s now clear of any microorganisms in her urine! Praise God. I shed a tear after waiting for the other doctor to read the lab results.

UTI cannot just be diagnosed easily in just one look at the child even though the child exhibits symptoms like fever, difficulty to pass urine, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Our toddlers wouldn’t even tell us that s/he is undergoing difficulty in urinating. When we are potty training our children, it’s important to let them know that it’s OK to make a mess on the floor, it’s OK to pee there if they couldn’t reach the bathroom or their potty stool just so they wouldn’t control their pee. Oftentimes, controlling urine to pass is one of the causes of the UTI. When my baby’s first lab urine culture was presented to us, we were told that her nitrate content then was so high. That’s when I realized that it must have been due to the hotdog that she ate. Hotdogs are known for containing a high amount of nitrate that’s why pregnant women are prohibited from eating eat. I also remember that my younger brother then (when he was still a kid) got UTI because of too much hotdog in his diet.

What made my husband and I panic about UTI in our 1st born was that should our toddler wasn’t able to pee then, a catheter would be used to aid her in urinating. We could not imagine then the pain, the trauma. If not for the initial aid in the form of green barley, it could have been difficult for my baby to pee. We’re also thankful because here in Kuwait, we have a very skilled baby doctor. Our toddler loves him much, and vice versa.

Our baby’s baby doctor said that UTI is common in kids. In adults, there is a burning pain down there when afflicted with UTI. But with kids, the symptoms are less specific. Sometimes, the only symptom is fever, which may be a symptom of other infection like bacterial or viral in the respiratory tract system. The key here is to note about the color and the odor of the urine of your child. As with the case of our baby’s urine, it had foul-smelling odor, and yellowish, too.

The urinary tract has four components: kidney, urethra, bladder, and ureters. Sometimes, it’s hard to detect about where the bacterial infection is really located in the urinary tract. The commonly affected areas with UTI are the urethra and bladder. When the infection goes up to the kidney, it’s something serious.

What’s important to note is that UTIs are TREATABLE, but if left untreated, UTIs in kids can lead to permanent kidney damage.

How to prevent UTI in Kids:

  1. Frequent diaper change in infants and toddlers
  2. Wash diaper area but be very careful with using soaps as they sometimes are the cause of UTI
  3. When wiping, wipe from front to behind, and not the other way around
  4. Kids should try not to control their urine as bacteria will grow in the urine in the bladder
  5. Don’t overeat hotdogs
  6. Drink lots of water
  7. Monitor the passing of urine of your infants and toddlers
  8. Wear cotton underwear
  9. Follow medication prescribed by doctor to fully eliminate further growth of microorganisms
  10. Drink green barley, highly effective for treating UTI both in kids and adults

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