When peeing hurts
By Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail
Fighting the infection
If your child or teenager suffers from most of the above symptoms, the doctor will confirm if he or she has a UTI by taking a urine sample for urinalysis. If your child's symptoms and urinalysis show an uncomplicated urinary tract infection, then the doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics.
However, if unusual UTI symptoms occur, such as symptoms that last longer than seven days of UTI in infants, or symptoms of a kidney infection, then the doctor will order a a urine culture to identify what type of bacteria is causing the infection, so that the most effective antibiotic for that bacteria can be used.
He or she may proceed to do other tests to look at the kidneys. Your child will be prescribed antibiotics for seven to 14 days, and the entire course must be completed so that the bacteria can be completely killed.
There are several ways to reduce your child's risk of getting a UTI.
Advise your child to always go to the bathroom as frequently as possible, and to keep the genital area clean and dry after washing up.
For girls, after urination or bowel movement, advise her to wipe from front to back to avoid the spread of germs from the rectal area to the urethra.
For those who are sexually active, be sure to wash the genital area after intercourse in order to remove bacteria.
Advise your child to refrain from holding in urine for long periods of time. He or she should also drink the equivalent of eight glasses of water a day.
Girls should change their tampons or sanitary pads regularly during menstruation. Advise them to avoid prolonged exposure of moisture in the genital area by not wearing wet undergarments, and to limit the use of feminine hygiene sprays as this may irritate the urethra.
Although UTIs are often painful and uncomfortable, they can be easily treated and prevented.
If you suspect that your child may be suffering from a UTI, take him or her to a doctor immediately. In such circumstances, taking swift action is the most important thing to do.