Saklakova/Fotolia

Can Toddlers Get UTIs & How Can You Prevent Them?

The worst part of parenting is finding out that your kid is sick. Whether it's a cold, ear infection, or a twisted ankle, seeing your child in pain is a tough feat to endure. Anyone who's had a urinary tract infection (UTI) will tell you how excruciatingly painful it can be. With kids so susceptible to to all kinds of infections and viruses, parents of younger children may wonder, can toddlers get UTIs?

Betsy Marks, MD, Board Certified Internist and Pediatrician practicing in Albany, NY, tells Romper that toddlers can indeed get UTIs. She notes that UTIs are common in children and are mostly treated on an outpatient basis, but there are symptoms to look for if you suspect a UTI in your toddler. "Common symptoms can include fever, incontinence in previously potty-trained children, increased urinary frequency and complaints of pain when urinating," Marks says.

She tells Romper that UTIs are more common in girls, uncircumcised boys, and children with abnormalities of the urinary tract or indwelling catheters. But no matter what, if your child is complaining of symptoms, Marks advises calling your pediatrician so your child can be tested.

Giphy

According to John Hopkins Medicine, a urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria, sometimes from the digestive tract, stick to the urethra, and then travel through the urinary tract, causing the infection and inflammation. (Which explains why toddlers can get them, right? They're magnets for bacteria.)

John Hopkins Medicine suggested a few ways to prevent UTIs, including having your child take showers instead of baths, encouraging them to empty their bladder completely, and ensuring that your child minimizes the spread of bacteria by wiping front to back.

Keeping an eye out for UTI symptoms in your toddler, and getting them tested and treated as soon as you can, is the best way to go. As a parent, it sucks to see your child in pain, but you always do the best you can.