Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in boys occur when harmful bacteria enter the bladder and multiply, causing discomfort and pain. While UTIs are common in both boys and girls, uncircumcised boys are particularly vulnerable. The majority of UTIs are caused by E. Coli, a bacteria that doubles every 20 minutes in the bladder. This means that even a small number of bacteria left untreated can quickly multiply, resulting in a more severe infection.
Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for UTIs in boys, including antibiotics and other medications. Additionally, there are steps that can be taken to prevent UTIs from occurring in the first place. Read the below blog to know the steps in detail.
What Are Recurrent UTIs?
Recurrent UTIs are defined as two or more UTIs within a six-month period or three or more within a year. This pattern of infections can be indicative of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. If left untreated, recurrent UTIs can lead to kidney damage, which can be especially concerning for children under the age of six.
What Signs Do Kids Have When They Have UTIs?
UTIs (urinary tract infections) are common in children and can cause discomfort and pain. It’s important for parents to recognize the symptoms of a UTI and seek medical attention for their child. The symptoms of UTIs in children can include:
- Pain or burning during urination.
- Changes in frequency of urination.
- Changes in the appearance or smell of urine.
- Loss of appetite.
- Lower abdominal pain.
- Lower back pain or discomfort.
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to a healthcare professional to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Prompt treatment can help prevent complications and minimize discomfort for your child.
Why Do Boys Get Urinary Tract Infections?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in children, including boys. In fact, up to 8% of boys may experience a UTI by age 7. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urethra and multiply in the bladder, causing an infection. Some common causes of UTIs in boys include:
- Poor water intake – Poor water intake can lead to concentrated urine, which makes it easier for bacteria to grow in the bladder. Boys who don’t drink enough water are more susceptible to UTIs.
- Improper genital hygiene – Proper genital hygiene is also important in preventing UTIs in boys. It’s important to teach boys to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom to prevent bacteria from the anal area from entering the urethra.
- Infrequent voiding – Infrequent voiding can also contribute to UTIs in boys. When urine sits in the bladder for too long, bacteria can grow and cause an infection. Encouraging boys to go to the bathroom regularly, even if they don’t feel like they need to, can help prevent UTIs.
- Constipation – Constipation is another common cause of UTIs in boys. When stool builds up in the rectum, it can put pressure on the bladder and prevent it from emptying fully. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria and increase the risk of UTIs. Encouraging boys to eat a healthy diet high in fibre and to go to the bathroom regularly can help prevent constipation and reduce the risk of UTIs.
What are the Types of UTIs in Children?
Understanding the different types of UTIs in children can help parents recognize the signs and symptoms of these infections and seek appropriate treatment.
The three most common types of UTIs in children are:
- Cystitis: This is a bladder infection caused by bacteria that move up the urethra and into the bladder. Symptoms of cystitis can include painful urination, frequent urination, urgency, and blood in the urine.
- Urethritis: This is an infection of the urethra caused by bacteria. Symptoms of urethritis can include pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, and discharge from the urethra.
- Pyelonephritis: This is a kidney infection caused by bacteria that move up the ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and into the kidneys. Symptoms of pyelonephritis can include fever, chills, back pain, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
It’s important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of UTIs in children, as untreated infections can lead to more serious health problems. If your child is experiencing symptoms of a UTI, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent complications and promote healing.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Boys?
UTIs in boys should not be taken lightly, as they can cause serious complications if left untreated. Fortunately, there are steps parents can take to prevent UTIs in their sons.
- One way to prevent UTIs in boys is to increase their water intake. Children should drink one cup of water for each year they are old, with a minimum of 8 cups of water per day for children over the age of 8. Increasing water intake dilutes the urine, making it more difficult for bacteria to grow. Monitoring the color of urine in the toilet is a good way to ensure good water intake. Urine should be clear to very pale yellow at each void. Darker urine tells us that the child needs more water.
- Another way to prevent UTIs in boys is through timed voiding. Children should urinate about seven times each day, that’s every 2 hours while awake, even if they don’t feel like they need to go. Children who hold their urine and wait until they absolutely have to go to the bathroom tend to be at a higher risk for UTIs and other bladder dysfunction problems.
- Proper genital hygiene is also important in preventing UTIs in boys. If the child is uncircumcised, he should push his foreskin back during shower or bath time to clean the head of the penis. He must also return the foreskin back over the head of the penis once cleaning is complete. It is also important that he pulls his foreskin all the way back before urinating and then pull it back over when he is done. Not doing this could allow urine to get stuck under the foreskin. When urine gets trapped under the foreskin, bacteria can form and eventually get into the urethra and bladder.
- Lastly, encouraging children to have a soft, easy-to-pass bowel movement every day is also important. By increasing water, fiber, and activity, many children can find constipation relief. If this is not enough, then adding Miralax (as directed) may help them go every day.
How To Treat UTI in Boys?
Prophylactic antibiotics are a type of medication that is given to children with recurrent UTIs. These antibiotics are taken daily, as prescribed by a healthcare provider, to help prevent UTIs from occurring. The antibiotics work by keeping the urine sterile, making it difficult for bacteria to grow and cause an infection.
It is important to note that prophylactic antibiotics should only be taken under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare provider. The dose and duration of the medication will be determined by the child’s medical history, age, and overall health. It is essential to follow the prescribed dosage and to never take antibiotics that have not been prescribed specifically for the child. Sharing medication is never recommended as it can lead to harmful side effects and potentially worsen the condition.
While prophylactic antibiotics can be effective in preventing UTIs, it is important to also consider other preventative measures such as proper hygiene, regular voiding, and increasing water intake. By taking these simple steps, parents can help prevent their sons from developing UTIs and the complications that can arise from them. It is recommended to have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to monitor the child’s overall health and to discuss any concerns about recurrent UTIs.