What causes urinary tract infections in children?
Normal urine is sterile and contains no bacteria. However, even under normal circumstances bacteria cover the skin and are present in large numbers in the rectal area and within bowel movements. Bacteria may, at times, get into the urinary tract and travel up the urethra into the bladder. When this happens, the bacteria multiply and unless the body gets rid of the bacteria, they can cause infection (urinary tract infection or “UTI.” There are two general types of UTIs—bladder infection and kidney infection. When the infection involves the bladder it can cause inflammation, swelling and pain of the bladder. This is called cystitis. If the bacteria travel upward from the bladder through the ureters and reach and infect the kidneys, the kidney infection is called pyelonephritis. Kidney infections are more serious than bladder infections, and can cause kidney damage especially in young children. What are the symptoms of urinary tract infections in children?