Preventing bladder infections in Children

 

Prevention

A little teaching in potty training about preventing bladder infections in children can create a good habit for a lifetime.

The messsage is wipe from front to back. This prevents E coli from the poo being transferred to the urethra.

Even while they are babies, it is better to use the technique of wiping from front to back so that no bacteria ends up in the wrong place. Although having seen the insides of a lot of nappies in my time, wowsa - just getting that poo off any way you can is the important part!

Teach children when they are learning to wipe their own bottoms, that is is essential that they wipe from front to back. This is especially important for young girls.

I found this hilarious old song on youtube about this very thing. Loving the lyrics:

"Wipe, wipe, wipe yourself
Always front to back
Carefully, carefully
Now you have the knack!"

Teaching young children not to touch themselves down there with dirty hands is a useful lesson too.

Bladder infections can also be common in young boys under five who are uncircumcised. It is worth making sure the penis is kept clean to prevent bladder infections. Be sure not to damage the penis doing this as it is delicate.

 

Symptoms

Bladder infections in children can be hard to diagnose, as sometimes do not come with the same symptoms as in adults.

While some children will complain of it hurting when they pee or you'll notice that they are going to the bathroom a lot more than usual, others seem to be generally unwell.

As in adults the usual symptoms are:

  • Painful or burning wee or difficult to wee
  • Feeling the need to wee often but not necessarily a lot coming out
  • Pain in the lower pelvic region
  • It may also possibly have an accompanying fever

If your child is diagnosed with a bladder infection or is complaining of burning urination, it is a good idea to get these checked out by a health care professional.

Treatments:

My suggestion for a quick and easy remedy for children would be Cranberry extract. Unlike some other natural treatments, it is mild tasting and slightly sweet, so it would be the most easy treatment to get the child to swallow it. However if you have not seen any results in this after a couple of hours, I would move onto another treatment. The longer the bladder infection goes on for, the more uncomfortable it will be.

With bladder infections in children it is important to encourage them to drink water. They may not want to do this if they are already going to bathroom a lot and they will probably feel quite "full" and not necessarily want to drink. If they are old enough to understand that the water is going to "flush away the bad germs", it may help. It may or may not taste better to add a squeeze of lemon or lime to give the water a little flavour, depending on their taste.

Avoid sugary food and drink if at all possible. Sugar can make the bladder infection worse, so giving sweet treats to make them feel better, may have the opposite effect. Foods which are alkaline are better although none of the foods on the alkaline list are ones that are commonly kids favourites. Unsweetened yoghurt with acidophilus may help to restore balance of bacteria in the body, so if you child likes this, then it is probably a good food choice to encourage.

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