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November is Bladder Health Month

In Honor of Bladder Health Month, We Asked Christina Kim, M.D., FAAP, to Highlight a Common Condition that Affects Both Children and Adults.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections in pediatrics. It accounts for approximately 1.5 million outpatient visits in the United States every year. It occurs in 11% of girls and 4% of boys.

There are some noted risk factors for developing UTIs. In the first year of life, uncircumcised boys have a higher rate of UTIs.After 6 months of age, girls have a higher risk of developing UTIs. Other factors that increase the chance of UTIs include: urinary reflux, being immunocompromised, dysfunctional voiding, constipation and sexual activity.

UTIs are classified as simple bladder infections or complicated kidney infections. Simple bladder infections typically present with urinary frequency, urgency or discomfort when urinating. Complicated kidney infections typically present with fever greater than 101.5 F, back pain and/or vomiting.

Diagnosis of a UTI is best done with reliable testing. In infants and children who are not toilet-trained, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends collecting urine by catheterization or with a bladder aspiration.A clean catch urine is primarily helpful when results are negative. A clean catch midstream urine collection is appropriate for toilet-trained children.

When a UTI is confirmed, choosing an appropriate treatment plan is important. Resistance to antibiotics is related to various factors. There is conflicting data regarding the best course of antibiotic treatments.But simple UTIs are typically treated with three to seven days of antibiotics, and complicated UTIs are treated for 10-14 days.

Our goal is not only prevention of UTIs, but also focused treatment to treat UTIs when they occur.

Learn more about the pediatric urology services offered at the Springfield Shriners Hospital.

Christina Kim

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