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Urinary Tract Infections in Children - Cause

Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and travel up the urinary tract camera.gif. Bacteria that normally live in the large intestine and are present in stool (feces) are the most common cause of infection. Sometimes bacteria traveling through the blood or lymph system to the urinary tract are the cause of kidney or bladder infections.

The ways that bacteria buildup can occur include:

  • Not properly wiping the bottom after a bowel movement. Bacteria may get into the urethra and cause a UTI.
  • Constipation.
  • Not completely emptying the bladder. This can cause bacteria to build up in urine.

Problems with the structure or function of the urinary tract commonly contribute to UTIs in infants and young children. Problems that limit the body's ability to eliminate urine completely include:

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: February 27, 2013
    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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