UTI Symptoms in Toddlers

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common in young children, with about 1 in 20 experiencing symptoms of the condition at some point. A UTI might be caused by genetic predisposition, inadequate hygiene, or bubble baths and soaps that aggravate the urethra. Toddlers are not always able to tell you if something hurts or is bothering them, so when a toddler has a urinary tract infection, it may not be readily apparent. It is important to catch symptoms of a UTI in toddlers early to avoid complications that may lead to a more serious bladder infection.

Personality Changes

Bacterial build-up in the kidneys might cause inflammation of the kidneys and bladder causing pain for your toddler. This might lead to excessive crying that you are unable to console. In addition, she may appear more irritable than usual and exhibit symptoms of anger or frustration such as hitting or yelling. Toddlers who have a UTI will likely look tired or sick and be much less active than usual. They also might be less excited about things in which they would be normally interested

Pain Signals

Because UTIs might cause painful urination, toddlers with an infection might not want to use the bathroom. When they do go, they may cry or scream due to the pain. In addition, if your toddler refuses to eat and is losing weight, they might be suffering from a UTI. Other symptoms that may occur due to a UTI are vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhoea.

Urine Changes

When your toddler does urinate, it may smell stronger than usual and have a brownish tinge. This results from bacteria accumulation and blood in the urine. In addition, the genitalia and surrounding areas may be red and inflamed. Potty-trained children might wet themselves due incontinence brought on by the UTI. Urinary infections may make a toddler feel like they need to urinate even when they do not have to go, so they might begin to misinterpret the signals.


According to, if your child has a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or lower, they probably have a lower- tract bladder infection or cystitis. If the fever is 102.2F or above, this is likely a more serious upper-tract kidney infection or pyelonephritis. Although cystitis may not cause serious illness if left untreated for a short time, kidney infection (pyelonephritis) can cause permanent damage to the kidneys. Children who have a fever higher than 102F, blood in the urine, and appear extremely sick and dehydrated may require hospitalisation. Consult your doctor if your child has any of the symptoms listed to ensure proper treatment.


Treatment for UTI infections is usually delivered in the form of antibiotics that may require 10 or more days of administration. According to, doctors may prescribe a numbing agent that your child will ingest to help dampen the pain they experience while urinating as well. This may alter the colour of your child's urine, but it can help alleviate the pain. You should check on your child when they use the bathroom and monitor any reduction in symptoms so you will know if the antibiotic regimen is working adequately.

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About the Author

Robin McDaniel is a writer, educator and musician. She holds a master's degree in higher educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as well as a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in adult in community education. McDaniel enjoys writing, blogging, web design, singing and playing bass guitar.