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Urinary Tract Infections in Children - Prevention

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are hard to prevent in children who seem to get them easily. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent repeat infection while waiting for test results after your child's first UTI. If test results show abnormalities of the urinary tract that raise the risk for repeat infections, the doctor may recommend long-term antibiotic treatment.

Some evidence suggests that breast-feeding may help prevent UTIs during the first 6 months of life.1, 2

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After learning to use the toilet, some children may not empty their bladders often enough. Without regular bladder emptying, which flushes out the germs in urine, children may be more likely to get a UTI. Encourage a schedule of bladder emptying to help lower this risk. Offer your child drinks (such as water) throughout the day. Drinking enough fluids fills the bladder and can help your child empty the bladder more often.

Constipation can also put a child at risk of a UTI. Regular toileting habits and a nonconstipating diet are the best ways to prevent constipation. For more information, see the topics Constipation, Age 11 and Younger and Constipation, Age 12 and Older.

Early diagnosis and early treatment are the most important steps in preventing UTI-caused kidney damage. Periodic urine cultures during the first year after a child's first UTI and for children at risk for recurrent UTIs can help detect infections before they do serious damage.

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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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