Urinary problems and injuries are a concern
in children. A young child may not be able to tell you about his or her
symptoms, which can make it hard to decide what your child needs. An older
child may be embarrassed about his or her symptoms. When your child has a
urinary problem or injury, look at all of his or her symptoms to determine what
steps to take next.
kidneys are the structures that make up the
urinary tract .
Pain during urination (dysuria) and a
frequent need to urinate are common symptoms in young
children. When your child has only one of these symptoms, or when the symptoms
are mild, home treatment may be all that is needed to prevent the problem from
getting worse and help relieve symptoms. Mild symptoms include:
- A frequent need to urinate. 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 because he or she is drinking extra fluid,
feeling nervous, or simply from habit.
- Burning pain when urine
touches irritated skin around the
vagina or urethra. Pain during urination because of
skin irritation occurs more often in girls (genital skin irritation) than it does in boys.
Pain during urination and a frequent need to urinate can also
mean your child has a
urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections
(UTIs) are the second most common bacterial infection in children. When your
child has an 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. Symptoms of a UTI vary depending on a child's age.
Many things can affect urine color, including fluid balance, diet, medicines, and diseases. How dark or light the color is tells you how much water is in it. Vitamin B supplements can turn urine bright yellow. Some medicines, blackberries, beets, rhubarb, or blood in the urine can turn urine red-brown.
Some foods (such as asparagus), vitamins, and antibiotics (such as penicillin) can cause urine to have a different odor. A sweet, fruity odor may be caused by uncontrolled diabetes. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause a bad odor.
Babies and very
young children who have UTIs often have symptoms that do not seem specific to
the urinary tract. Symptoms may include:
- Fever, especially without other signs of
infections, such as a cough or runny nose. In babies, fever may be the only
symptom of a urinary tract infection.
- Frequent or infrequent
- Strong or bad-smelling urine.
- Dark or
blood-streaked urine. Note: It is common for
newborns to pass some pink urine in the first 3 days of life. This may be from crystals in the urine. Parents will notice a pink color to the urine in the diaper.
- Lack of interest in eating or refusing
- Squirming and
- Diaper rash that doesn't go