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Urinary Tract Infections in Children - What Increases Your Risk

Risk factors (things that increase a child's risk) of urinary tract infection (UTI) include:

  • Abnormalities of the urinary tract, including kidney stones camera.gif and other urinary obstructions. Structural or functional problems that limit the kidneys' or the bladder's ability to eliminate urine properly can increase the risk of UTIs. These problems may be present at birth or may develop soon after.
  • Infrequent urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder, or constipation. These patterns are common during toilet training and make it easier for bacteria to build up in the urine.
  • An uncircumcised penis. The foreskin can trap bacteria, which can then enter the urinary tract camera.gif and cause infection.
  • Catheterization, which is used in a hospital when a child is unable to urinate on his or her own. Bacteria can enter the catheter and start an infection.
  • Previous UTIs. The risk for future infections increases with each additional infection.
  • History of UTI or the backward flow of urine from the bladder into the kidneys (vesicoureteral reflux) in a parent or sibling.

Infants and young children who have UTIs often have vesicoureteral reflux (VUR).

    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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