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What causes a UTI in a child?

My 7 year old son was diagnosed with UTI by our pediatrician. What causes a UTI in a child?

7 Answers

Could be many things but usually it’s blood infection.
Constipation could predispose a child to UTI. Please check if your child passes stool daily, does he have soft stool and does not strain to pass stool. Hope that helps.
UTI is never common in boys. If he has it, then it needs to be thoroughly investigated. Causes could be something like posterior urethral valve, vesico ureteral reflux. Occasionally constipation, but not common in boys.
The most common cause in a male at this age group in getting a UTI is poor hygiene (especially if not circumcised) and urinary retention. Children will often want to hold their urine because of embarrassment in school in asking permission to go to the bathroom or because they want to keep playing. However, other serious causes to be concerned about is whether he has vesicoureteral reflux and hence an initial screen with a renal ultrasound is recommended.

Alvaro E. Galvis, MD | PhD
Possible structural drainage problem of the urinary tract
Most UTIs occur in uncircumcised boys. Bacteria collect under the foreskin, multiply in presence of a drop or two urine and make their way up into the bladder. Bacteria can divide every 20 minutes so can multiply into millions in quite a short time. Infrequent urinating & constipation are often additional factors in causing UTIs.
Most UTI are bladder infection from ascending infections. He needs to stay hydrated and make sure he is urinating frequently at school. If they become recurrent, he needs a renal ultrasound and further work-up to make sure the anatomy is normal.