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Frequent Need to Urinate (Frequency) in Children

Frequency means urinating more often than usual. A child's bladder is small and does not hold as much urine as an adult's bladder. For this reason, frequent urination is common and is not necessarily a sign of a urinary problem.

Your child may urinate more frequently if he or she drinks more fluid than usual. Irritation of the skin from a wet diaper or contact with a chemical, such as soap or laundry detergent, can also cause frequent urination.

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With a urinary tract infection, bacteria grow in the bladder and irritate the bladder wall. This causes pain as soon as a very small amount of urine reaches the bladder. You may find your child trying to urinate more often than usual in an effort to soothe the pain. But your child will pass very little urine because the bladder has only collected a small amount since the last time he or she urinated.

Increased urination or new daytime or nighttime wetting may also be a sign of a more serious problem, such as diabetes. Other symptoms of diabetes include extreme thirst, increased hunger, and weight loss.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised April 12, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 12, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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