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Urinary Tract Infection in Babies

Urinary tract infection in babies.

What is urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that affects any of the parts of the urinary tract. Urinary tract is composed of the kidney, the two bean-shaped organs primarily responsible in filtering blood and producing urine; the ureters, these are tubes wherein urine passes through from the kidney to the bladder; the bladder, this is where urine is temporarily stored before it will excreted through the urethra; the urethra, this a tube wherein urine passes through from the bladder to be excreted outside the body. Urethra of a baby boy is longer than a baby girl making a baby making more prone to urinary tract infection.

What are the causes of urinary tract infection in babies?

The urinary tract is normally sterile, which means it has no bacteria. However urine provides certain characteristics that enable or enhances bacterial growth. Factors favorable for bacterial growth includes moisture, pH that is close to neutral and dark areas. So when your baby pees on her diaper, it enables bacterial growth. These bacteria will eventually travel into the urethra, bladder, ureter, and the kidneys. 

One of the most common culprit are E. Coli bacteria because it normally thrives on human skin.

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Signs

1. Crying especially when urinating

2. Loss of appetite

3. Blood in the urine or blood tinged urine

4. Foul smelling urine

5. Note that babies may either have a fever or not.

6. Unexplained irritability

Prevention

1. Frequently change diapers and clean the genital area thoroughly using warm water and cottons. Avoid using baby wipes as these may contain chemicals that can cause irritation on the genital area.

2. When your baby is bottle fed, make sure that you’re diluting her milk according to her body needs. Some babies need a more diluted milk than others. An appropriately diluted milk will help your baby excrete appropriate amounts of urine to wash off traveling bacteria into the urethra.

Ask your doctor.

Your doctor will probably check her blood and urine. Your doctor will collect urine sample via a catheter, your baby will cry during procedure.

Ultrasound and X-rays may also be used to see the structure of the urinary tract.

Your doctor will also probably prescribe antibiotics which may be incorporated to her feed.

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