What can you do to prevent your child from having multiple UTIs? There are many things physicians may advise you to do. These things make sense but have not been tested in any clinical trials. In any case, they won't hurt your child and may help. There are more tips for females than males as there is a higher incidence of UTIs in girls.
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Increase fluids. In the US, cranberry juice is purported to help UTIs due to its pH levels and bacteriostatic qualities. The reality is water probably works just as well. The key is preventing your child from inoculating bacteria by decreased urination.
Encourage regular trips to the toilet.
For girls, avoid bubble baths. The thought being that with the shorter urethra in girls, germs don't have that far to travel from the water into the bladder.
For girls, wipe from front to back. Again the thought process here is to prevent fecal bacteria from infecting the urinary tract.
For girls, use cotton underwear which "breathes" better than nylon, thus preventing bacterial growth.
For boys, there is a slightly higher incidence of UTIs if they are uncircumcised. If you are opposed to circumcision, teaching your boy to urinate completely (not rush to go out and play) and stricter hygiene measures may suffice.
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About the author:
Rosanne Sugay, M.D., is an Internist and Pediatrician at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.