Urinary tract infections may be limited to the bladder, but when they reach the kidney, a fever may develop. Fever may be the only sign of infection in infants, while older children may experience pain while urinating, or frequent runs to the bathroom. Back pain or vomiting may be signs of a more severe urinary tract infection. When infections are not appropriately treated with antibiotics, scars may develop on the kidneys.
These scars imply a loss of nephrons that work continuously to clean the body of waste and maintain the ideal internal balance. Once damaged, they cannot be replaced. So, while no child can feel a scar on the kidney, as an adult he or she may be at increased risk for high blood pressure or low kidney function. Fortunately, scars develop in only seven percent of children who suffer urinary tract infections.
Urinary tract infections are also seen more commonly in children who struggle with constipation, and in those with reflux of urine from the bladder back up to the kidneys. Drinking lots of water and proper hygiene are important, as is treating constipation.
(In arrangement with SMARTlife)