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Young boy holding stomach in pain.

Does My Child Have a Bladder Infection?

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Dr. Charisse Carter
Published Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2022

By Dr. Charisse Carter, Norfolk Pediatrics

If you suspect your child has a bladder infection, it’s important for them to receive treatment early. Bladder infections can lead to kidney infections, which are often painful and may lead to other health problems.

Bladder infections, also called cystitis, are caused by bacteria that live in the body’s bowels. A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection.

Older children who have a bladder infection may experience the same symptoms that an adult would. A child may notice that it hurts to urinate or that they feel a burning sensation while urinating.

When a child is unable to communicate how they feel, it’s up to parents and caregivers to pay attention to possible symptoms. Bladder infection symptoms in children under the age of 2 may include:

  • Fever (can occur with no other symptoms)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Lack of appetite
  • Poor weight gain

Children over the age of 2 may experience:

  • Wetting the bed (after potty training)
  • Fever
  • Back pain or pain in lower belly
  • Pain while urinating
  • Urine that smells bad
  • Blood in urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Increased urge to urinate

To prevent bladder infections, make sure your child stays hydrated and avoids becoming constipated. Girls should be taught to wipe front to back when toileting to prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract.

Always consult your CHKD pediatrician if you’re worried your child may have a bladder infection. A simple urine test can determine if your child has an infection and needs antibiotics. Drinking fluids also can help flush bacteria from your child’s urinary tract.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.