Infrequent urination in children

Written by jacqueline chinappi
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Infrequent urination in children
Infrequent urination (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Daniel Lobo)

Does your child go to the bathroom less often than other children? Some children urinate infrequently; this is also known as voiding dysfunction. A child who urinates infrequently may have a medical condition, behavioural issues, or simply not be taking in enough fluids.

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Causes

Causes of infrequent urination may include urinary tract infection, acute renal failure, chronic kidney disease, dehydration, and diarrhoea. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some children avoid urinating because of poor toilet habits, being too busy to drink fluids, fear of the toileting process, psychological stressors, or emotional stressors.

Symptoms

Additional symptoms which may accompany infrequent urination include breathing difficulty, muscle weakness, behaviour problems, fatigue, delirium, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, low blood pressure, and painful urination. According to Wrong Diagnosis.com, combined symptoms may be cause for concern for various diagnoses.

Treatment

The primary doctor may refer the child to a paediatric urologist, paediatric nephrologist, or a behavioural psychologist. Treatments may include correction of dehydration such as intravenous fluids and an increase of fluid intake, medications according to diagnosis, or possible behavioural therapy techniques to help avoidance issues.

Tests

To find underlying problems, your child's doctor may perform tests including renal and bladder ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, of the lower spine, a voiding cystourethrogram, or a radionuclide cystogram. The doctor will take a medical history and might recommend that the child undergo a psychological evaluation.

Considerations

Urinary tract infection occurs in three per cent of children each year, according to the Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Since urinary tract infection is painful, children may avoid urinating. Long-term effects of urinary tract infection can include kidney scars, poor kidney growth, poor kidney function, and high blood pressure.

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