Print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Urine infection (UTI) in children

A child who needs to wee looks uncomfortable in their car seat Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are an infection in your wee (urine).

They can affect any part of your urinary tract, but usually start in your bladder. They are usually caused by germs (bacteria) that enter the urinary tract, through the tube that carries wee from your bladder out of your body (urethra).

UTIs are common in tamariki (children). While they're not usually serious, it's important to diagnose and treat them quickly to reduce the risk of complications.

Symptoms of a UTI in children

It can be hard to tell if your tamaiti (child) has a UTI as symptoms can be vague and children may have difficulty communicating how they feel. Common symptoms include:

Diagnosing a UTI in children

The GP will usually ask questions about the symptoms your tamaiti child has, examine them and ask for a sample of wee to test.

Treating UTIs in children

Most UTIs in tamariki children can be treated with antibiotics. Treatment is usually for 5 days or longer.

It's very important to finish the whole course of antibiotics to prevent the infection coming back.

Your doctor may refer your tamaiti to a specialist in children’s health (paediatrician) if they are very unwell, need further tests or they do not respond to treatment.

Getting help for your child with a UTI

If you think your tamaiti could have a UTI, contact your GP as soon as possible.

Go back to the GP if your tamaiti isn't showing any signs of improvement within a day or two after starting antibiotics.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed January 2022.


See also:

Constipation in children

Kidney problems in children

Urinary reflux

Page reference: 47594

Review key: HIUTC-12626