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Urinary tract infection (UTI) in children

A UTI is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. (These are the organs that make up the urinary tract.) UTIs in children most often occur if bacteria begin to grow in these parts of the body.

Symptoms of a UTI can be hard to notice in a baby or young child. A baby's symptoms may include an unexplained fever, lack of appetite, vomiting, and urine that has an unusual smell. A young child's symptoms may include pain or burning when the child urinates, urinating often, loss of bladder control, urine that smells bad or is an odd color, and a fever.

Diagnosis of a UTI in a child most often requires a medical history and physical exam, urinalysis, and urine culture. Sometimes a child's symptoms and urinalysis results strongly suggest that he or she has a UTI. In this case, many doctors will prescribe antibiotics for a UTI without waiting for the results of a urine culture.

Treatment for most children who have a UTI is oral antibiotics and home care.

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