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Moms Share the Home Remedies They Use When Their Children Have UTIYoung children can be more vulnerable to different urinary tract infections or UTIs.by Kate Borbon .
Children can be vulnerable to lots of different illnesses and infections, such as urinary tract infections. Read below to learn more about these infections and some well-known home remedies for UTI, according to moms from Smart Parenting Village.
What is UTI?
Urinary tract infections, more commonly known as UTIs, occur when bacteria get into different parts of the urinary tract: the urethra (which causes urethritis), the bladder (which causes cystitis), or the kidneys (which causes pyelonephritis).
According to Kids Health, most UTIs occur in the urethra and in the bladder (both are located at the lower part of the urinary tract). An infection that goes up the ureters to the kidneys is more serious.
UTIs are more common in girls since their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus, writes Kids Health. Boys below 1 year old who have not yet been circumcised are also at a higher risk of UTI since bacteria can hide under the foreskin, making it harder to clean. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), around 3 percent of girls and 1 percent of boys will get UTI by the time they reach 11 years old.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Parents also writes that babies may be more vulnerable to UTIs “because they’re in diapers most of the time, which keeps their genital area moist and warm and allows bacteria to breed. Plus, diapers don’t always keep their messes contained, so bacteria from bowel movements can easily get into the genitals and sometimes cause an infection.”
Other factors that may put an individual at higher risk of having UTI include a family history of UTIs, poor toilet and hygiene habits, a problem in the urinary tract (e.g. a malformed kidney or a blockage in the tract of normal urine flow), and a reflux of urine from the bladder up to the ureters and the kidneys (a condition called vesicoureteral reflux).
Symptoms of UTI in babies and children
Children’s symptoms of UTI may differ from adults’ symptoms. Each child may also experience symptoms differently. The most common symptoms of UTI in babies include the following, according to Cleveland Clinic:ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
- Abdominal illness
- Foul-smelling urine
- Poor growth
- Weight loss or failure to gain weight
- Lethargy (being more tired than usual)
The most common symptoms of UTI in older children include the following:
- Urgency to urinate
- A small amount of urine (despite the urgency to pee)
- Wetting during the day and/or night
- Frequent urination
- Painful or difficult urination
- Discomfort above the pubic bone
- Blood in the urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain in the back or side below the ribs
Home remedies for UTI
Most UTIs are easy to treat. Here in the Philippines, moms and dads have several recommendations for easy home remedies for their children who occasionally experience symptoms of UTI. Moms of Smart Parenting Village share some of their most-used home remedies for UTI below.
Have your child drink lots of fluids
Drinking lots of water is an effective way to prevent UTIs from happening in the first place because this help keeps the bladder active and free from bacteria, says Teens Health.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Most of the moms said they made their kids drink a lot of water, as well as buko juice and cranberry juice. Doctors often recommend fresh buko juice or coconut water because it is a natural diuretic that helps flush out the bacteria in the urinary tract.
Between coconut water and cranberry juice, the latter is said to be more effective because it helps prevents E. coli — the type of bacteria that most commonly causes UTI — from getting attached to the walls of the urinary tract. The AAP also says that like cranberries, blueberry juice can be an effective home remedy for UTI since it contains chemicals that can make the urine more acidic and prevent bacteria from growing.
Some moms also mentioned they give their kids probiotics as a home remedy for their UTI, but this is something you need to discuss with your doctor. How much will your child need? How often? And just how effective is it versus water?ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
According to Harvard Health Publishing, probiotics can be helpful in UTIs in adult women because it helps prevent ‘bad’ bacteria from growing in the vagina. Healthline also writes that probiotics can restore ‘good’ bacteria and reduce the possibility of UTI happening again.
LiveStrong says that caffeine, which increases the heart rate, can also cause bacteria to circulate to the infected urinary tract. If your tot has a UTI, reduce his intake of foods and beverages that can irritate his bladder, including caffeinated drinks such as sodas and soft drinks, chocolate, and certain spices.
One mom emphasized the importance of being a positive example: Try to reduce your consumption of similar products that might put you at a higher risk of having a UTI.
Practice healthy toilet habits
Many kids who become too focused on playtime may end up forgetting to go to the bathroom, even if they feel the urge. And as we know, poor toilet habits can put kids at higher risk of UTI.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
One mom on the Village said that parents need to teach their kids to listen to their bodily cues and go to the bathroom anytime they need to pee. Asking your child now and then if he needs to pee can be a good way to start.
Another healthy toilet habit to teach your child is how to wipe himself or herself after a bowel movement properly. Girls, in particular, should be taught to wipe from front to back to reduce their risk of infection, says the AAP.
On the other hand, for babies and young children who are not yet potty-trained, don’t forget to change their diapers frequently and change their genitals well using gentle cleansers that do not irritate the skin. One mom on Smart Parenting Village also suggested avoiding using baby wipes, especially scented ones.
Remember that even if any of these home remedies for UTI work, children who show severe symptoms of infection should be taken to the doctor to receive immediate medical attention.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
One mom said her child who repeatedly experienced UTI had to be prescribed antibiotics for a year to treat the infection. The AAP says that antibiotics are the most common way to treat UTIs, but doctors prescribe it based on the type and severity of his infection. Do NOT give your child antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription.
Even if you have potty-trained your child, he might still end up wetting himself while he is asleep. Click here for tips on how to nighttime potty-train your child.
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