Under normal circumstances, if the baby has a fever, parents may consider them to have a cold or acute rash, but there is one factor that is easily overlooked. If this disease is not treated in time and aggravated, it will bring lifelong harm to the child. It is a urinary tract infection.
What is a urinary tract infection？
Urinary tract infection (UTI) refers to infection of the urinary tract caused by bacterial invasion, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. When improper care or weakened immunity, bacteria around the genitals and anus may launch an "attack" on the urinary tract, which may cause infection and inflammation at any node of the urinary tract.
Babies of any age can suffer from urinary tract infections, and the incidence is particularly high for babies under 2 years of age. Urinary tract infection is the most common serious bacterial infection in infants and children. Among children with high fever, approximately 10% of girls and 3% of boys have been diagnosed with urinary tract infections.
If the baby has had otitis media or (and) gastroenteritis before, when the baby has a high fever again, parents should be more alert to urinary tract infections. The study found that about 4% of babies with a high fever who had previously had the above diseases were diagnosed with urinary tract infections.
Urinary tract infections are also prone to occur during toilet training, because some babies may hold their urine on purpose. This gives bacteria that have not been washed away by the urine an opportunity to allow them enough time to "crawl" into the urethra and bladder. Babies with severe constipation have a lot of poop in their stomachs, which "clamp" the tube around the bladder, so the urine is reduced, thereby increasing the risk of urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infections are actually easy to be cured, but if they are not treated in time, the infection may cause permanent damage to the kidneys and even kidney failure. Children before the age of 2 are more prone to urinary tract infections, and infections are the most harmful to them, so now the baby has a high fever for unknown reasons, and the hospital usually allows the child to take a urine test first. Parents must also be vigilant and have a certain understanding of this disease.
Symptoms of urinary tract infection
The American Academy of Pediatrics also pointed out that the reason why urinary tract infection is not easy to find in infants is that fever is almost the only sign in infants with urinary tract infections. In addition, babies cannot express discomfort when urinating, so parents are easy to treat it as a common cold and delay the illness. Although urinary tract infections can be cured, if they are not treated in time, they can easily cause irreversible damage to the kidneys and develop into serious diseases.
Unknown high fever
Among those children who have no other obvious symptoms except high fever, about 5% of babies are diagnosed with urinary tract infections. Therefore, some of them will have diapers smelly.
Symptoms of persistent vomiting or diarrhea and some have decreased appetite.
However, in some cases, whether the baby has a fever or not, the following symptoms may also appear:
- Crying or showing other discomforts during urination
- There is not much urine in the diaper, but the baby needs to change diapers frequently
- Smelly diapers
- Turbid or bloody urine
- Constantly irritating and crying for no reason
- Refusing to eat
- Toddlers and preschoolers will show symptoms of abdominal pain, frequent urination, and painful urination.
Reasons why babies are prone to urinary tract infections
Because the baby needs to wear diapers, if they are not changed in time, it will give the bacteria the conditions to multiply. Baby girls have a shorter urinary tract, and they are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than baby boys. Uncircumcised baby boys are more likely to have urinary tract infections than circumcised baby boys. This may be because the folds of the foreskin tend to hide dirt and are difficult to clean.
Doctor's diagnosis and treatment
First, the doctor will ask about the family's history of urinary tract infection, because this infection has a certain genetic predisposition.
After that, the doctor will take urine for a urine culture to confirm the infection, identify the type of bacteria, and prescribe the corresponding antibiotics. However, for babies who cannot control urination and obey instructions, in order to prevent the urine from being infected by other bacteria in the baby's skin and surrounding environment, doctors usually use some special urine collection methods. Such as catheters. The doctor will gently insert the catheter into the bladder to obtain a urine sample.
For those children who can go to the toilet by themselves, use a cotton ball dipped in water to clean the genitals and surrounding areas before the baby urinates, and then use a sterile jar to collect mid-stage urine samples as much as possible. Among them, the urinary catheter is a commonly used method by doctors, and it takes only one or two minutes to be safe and time-consuming. But this process will be a little uncomfortable, the baby will cry, you can let the child take slow and deep breathing to relax. Ask your child to pretend to be blowing birthday candles, balloons, or bubbles. During the examination, the child can play with toys or comfort objects to divert attention
The doctor may get the test results as soon as possible through the test strips, but it may take a day or two for a clear diagnosis.
At the same time, the doctor can also allow the baby to undergo other tests to find whether there is a blockage in the urinary tract or whether there is vesicoureteral reflux (the return of urine from the bladder to the kidneys). Among children with urinary tract infections, about 30-40% have vesicoureteral reflux.
VCGU Urinary Tract Photography
VCUG is a special inspection method that uses X-rays to show what happens when a child urinates. It is mainly used to monitor the function of the bladder and urethra in order to detect vesicoureteral reflux or renal reflux. During the examination, the catheter will be placed in the child's urethra. In order to reduce the discomfort during the examination, parents can refer to the method of comfort when using a catheter for their children above.
How to treat？
- If your child has painful urination or has a high fever over 38.5°C, please give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen according to the instructions on the package.
- Antibiotic treatment. Two days after taking antibiotics, please take your child to see a doctor again to understand the results of urine culture to ensure that the antibiotics are effective. After two weeks, the doctor may check the child's urine again.
It should be noted that even if the baby's condition seems to have improved, the child must be given sufficient antibiotics as directed by the doctor to prevent the urinary tract infection from recurring and cause chronic urinary tract infection.
If the baby is too serious to eat, the doctor will arrange an infusion. Babies within 30 days who have a urinary tract infection must be hospitalized.
If your baby has a blockage in the urinary tract or vesicoureteral reflux, surgery may be required. Usually, after 6 years of age, children will no longer suffer from this disease, but in order to prevent kidney damage, doctors may also prescribe low-dose antibiotics for long-term use to avoid recurrence.
How to prevent
Encourage your baby to drink more water (babies 6 months ago are encouraged to drink more breast milk). Drinking more water and urinating can better "flush" the urinary tract (the baby's urine is weakly acidic and contains bactericidal protein to fight off invading bacteria). Constipation may also cause urinary tract infections, but drinking plenty of water can prevent constipation.
After adding supplementary food, pay attention to the baby's nutritional balance, encourage drinking water, and eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products, which can also effectively prevent constipation.
Try to breastfeed for more than 7 months. Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed for more than 7 months are less likely to develop urinary tract infections, and this protection can last even up to 2 years old.
When your child is old enough to go to the bathroom on his own, there are more other tips to prevent urinary tract infection (UTI):
Encourage your child to urinate after the shower.
Teach children to wipe from front to back after urination.
Encourage your child to urinate at least once every three to four hours during the day.
Wear your child with loose cotton underwear.
Avoid bathing your child with soap, don't add bath liquid to the tub, don't take a bubble bath, so as not to irritate the baby's genitals.
How to clean private parts
- Regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl, it is best to wash with running water.
- Do not use soapy water or other cleaning agents, and do not add body soap to the bath water when taking a bath, especially do not take a bubble bath.
- If there is no condition to use clean water when going out, gently wipe off the stool with a wet wipe. Pay attention to the wrinkles around the anus and the roots of the thighs. For bab girls, wipe from front to back. Do not over-clean the labia minora, especially the white secretions itself is a kind of protection. In order to avoid wiping, I use wet wipes every time I go out to defecate, and I will rinse it with clean water again when I go home and then use a cotton soft wipe to dry it in time. The same is true for baby boys. Pay attention to gently wipe the roots of the penis and the places that are easy to hide dirt. The scrotum folds are also prone to residual feces. Parents can gently spread the folds and wipe them.
Note: For baby boys' foreskin, it is not necessary to wash it before 3-5 years old. Because the baby's foreskin and glans are still not separated at this time, turning the foreskin prematurely may cause damage to it.
- After cleaning and dipping dry, apply a thin layer of neonatal hip cream to prevent red butt.
- If the baby's bowel movements are irregular, parents should pay more attention to check the diapers at any time. Be sure to change frequently during diarrhea!