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Urinary Tract Infections in Children - When To Call a Doctor

Urinary tract infections (UTI) in infants and young children need early evaluation and treatment. Call your doctor to make an appointment within 24 hours if your child has:

  • Unexplained fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Urine that looks pink, red, brown, or cloudy or is foul-smelling.
  • Burning pain with urination.
  • Frequent need to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
  • Pain in the flank, which is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back.
  • Vaginal discharge with urinary symptoms.
  • Symptoms similar to those of a previous UTI.

Call the doctor if your child isn't feeling better within 48 hours after starting an antibiotic.

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Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is not appropriate if you suspect your child has a urinary tract infection. Untreated UTIs in children can lead to permanent kidney damage, high blood pressure, and other serious complications.

Who to see

The following health professionals can treat UTIs in children:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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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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