Urinary Problems Kids
One of the most complicated conditions among children is urinary problems kids. Due to the young age, most children are unable to express their condition properly to adults. In case of older children, embarrassment stops them from sharing the symptoms with adults. Even parents ignore the symptoms for a long time, which only worsens the condition. Though not very common, urinary problems kids can occur in any child. Even though urinary problems kids are not life-threatening in any case, they cause much discomfort and pain to children.
However, urinary problems kids are a very broad categorization for a variety of problems related to urinary bladder, ureters, kidney and urethra. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is one of the most prominent problems, but many others could occur too. Let’s take a deeper look at the problem.
Common symptoms of Urinary problems kids
– Frequent urination
This is the mildest symptom and may not mean much in most cases. Children have small bladders, which compel them to urinate frequently. Sometime, a child may have a habit of drinking more fluids than necessary, which might lead to frequent urination. Other reasons include nervousness or poor bathroom habits, leading to urination even when the bladder is not full.
– Irritation while urination
A slightly more serious symptom, many children face irritation in skin while urinating. Skin infection around the genitals may cause irritation when urine touches it. This symptom is more common among girls, though irritation in the urethra is common in both.
Checking urine for symptoms
Checking the odor and color of urine is often the first method to find any urinary problem. However, the features could be attributed to many factors. The amount of water in the urine determines how dark or light the urine is. Some medicines can affect the color, like Vitamin B supplements may turn it yellow. Food items containing strong colors can also affect the urine coloration, like beetroot may turn it brick-red and strikingly similar to blood.
Urine odor is also attributed to different factors. In diabetes patients, urine often has a sweet smell. A foul odor might indicate infection, partially UTI.
Urinary Tract Infection
Like we mentioned, UTI is the most common form of urinary problem found in children. UTI is a type of bacterial infection that affects the bladder. Whenever the bladder comes in contact of urine, it causes a mild or strong irritation. Most children try to urinate so as to soothe the pain. However, even a small amount of urine is enough to trigger the irritation. Thus, many children have to urinate frequently even when only a small amount of urine has been collected in the bladder.
UTI can occur either in the upper tract of the body (consisting of kidney and ureter) or the lower tract (consisting of bladder and urethra).
UTI in infants
Urinary tract infection may even occur in kids as young as 2-years old. However, their symptoms are very different than those in adults. In fact, the symptoms may not be related to urinary tract at all. Some of the common symptoms of UTI in small kids are:
– Fever is the most common symptom of UTI in infants, especially if it is not indicative of any other infection in the body.
– Irregular urination is another common symptom. In this case, kids may either urinate very frequently, or not urinate for long periods of time.
– Like we mentioned above, foul odor is a prominent sign of UTI.
– Dark red urine is another symptom you must check for. Since children younger than 2-years do not generally eat food with high coloration, dark red urine implies infection in the bladder.
– If the diaper rash in your kid is not going away by usual medication, it might be a sign of UTI.
UTI in older children
With age, the symptoms of UTI become more related to the urinary tract. Some common symptoms are:
– Dysuria, which is a burning sensation while urinating. In older children and adults, this is usually the most prominent symptom of UTI.
– There is an urge to urinate frequently, even when there is no urine in the bladder.
– Again, foul odor is a persistent symptom of UTI.
– Children suffering from UTI have a low tolerance of holding their bladder.
– In case of girls, there might be a foul discharge from the vagina.
– Children may develop a sudden habit of bedwetting despite being old enough.
Type of UTI
Depending upon the organ infected, there are generally two types of urinary tract infection:
– Bladder infection: As the name suggests, it occurs when the bacteria travels through the urethra and causes infection in the bladder. This type of UTI is the most common.
– Kidney infection: This infection occurs in the upper tract, and gets infected from the bladder via the ureters. However, it is possible that the bacteria reached the kidneys from some other part of the body.
-In general, girls are more vulnerable to urinary problems kids than boys. The most accepted reason is the reproductive system within girls, which make them more prone to develop infections. However, up until the age of 3 months, both the genders have an equal risk of developing urinary problems kids.
-Children who are born with urinary tract defects are highly susceptible to develop urinary problems kids. Children who have an obstruction in their urinary tract find it harder to empty their bladder completely. Residual urine in the bladder promotes bacterial growth and thus infection. Though such obstructions are developed usually at birth, sometimes surgeries or injuries may also lead to urinary tract blockage.
– Though less vulnerable to urinary problems kids in general, young boys are more prone for developing urinary tract infection. Boys who were not circumscribed are at a higher risk of developing infections.
– Kids who have poor toilet training or poor hygiene habits are at a greater risk of developing urinary infections. To be more specific, children who have a habit of withholding urine for long periods may suffer from problems of enlarged bladder.
Steps to be taken
As parents, you must keep an eye on the kids and look for any trouble they have while urinating. While it is possible to do with younger kids, older children may take it as a violation of their privacy. In that case, you need to educate your child about how they should look out for any possible trouble in their body.
In case your child does complain to you about any problems in the bladder or during urination, you should immediately take him/her to a urologist.
Urinary problems kids are frequent conditions in children, especially in those who are not old enough to relieve the symptoms. Thus, it is the duty of parents to keep an eye on them. Most urinary problems kids are not severe, but they can cause discomfort in children. Urinary tract infection, in particular, is a dangerous condition that must be tracked and treated at the earliest. Thus, always watch out for your kids and keep the contact of a local pediatric urologist handy.