Small child

The child reports pain when peeing - what to do?


The child's urinary tract is the second most common infection site after the respiratory system (it is estimated that among 7-year-old toddlers, as much as 8% of girls and 1.5% of boys have had at least one urinary tract infection in their lives). Same, dysuric symptoms (including painful urination) are one of the most common reasons for visiting pediatricians, so it's good to know what to do if your child does it.

What are dysuric symptoms in a child?

Dysuric symptoms are a common term for a number of ailments that occur during urination, and their most common cause is urinary tract infection (UTI). Among them, the following can be mentioned:

  • Pain when passing urine - can be described as stinging, burning or itching located in the urethra. In the youngest children, it is most often manifested in the toddler's strong crying during each urination.
  • Frequent urination - we talk about him if the child urinates much more often than usual in the absence of increased fluid intake.
  • Painful pressure on the bladder - usually precedes urination and is characterized by soreness of the lower abdomen.
  • Sudden pressure on the bladder - need to urinate immediately
  • Difficulties in maintaining urine - your child may suddenly start to get wet.

Dysuric symptoms in the child - what to do if they occur?

Every case of occurrence of dysuric symptoms in a child should be consulted by a pediatrician. This is especially true for toddlers who are additionally affected fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and lumbar pain (Lumbar pain and fever> 39 degrees Celsius may indicate acute pyelonephritis). Moreover, your child may be given paracetamol (to reduce the fever) and control its hydration (in children, especially the youngest, dehydration appears very quickly and poses a potential threat to life).

Urine test - first-line examination in the event of a suspected UTI

Urine test (general and bacteriological) is the basic test that allows diagnosing urinary tract infection in a child and initiating appropriate treatment. Nevertheless its correct collection (incorrectly collected urine may cause false positive results), especially in the youngest children, it can be very difficult for parents and medical staff.

So how do you get urine for a test so that its results are reliable?

  • Urine is collected in a sterile containera - such vessels are available in most pharmacies and are for one-off urine collection. In infants and the youngest children who do not yet control voiding, special bags attached to the toddler's crotch and collecting urine can be used (their use can be difficult and carries a high risk of urine contamination, and thus can only be used to exclude infection) .
  • Before collecting urine, we thoroughly wash the baby's perineum - the baby's perineum and its external genitals should be washed with warm water and soap just before attempting to collect urine.
  • Urine is taken from the middle stream - this means that only the second portion of urine should be caught in the container, not the first one that escaped from the baby's urethra.

Examination of correctly collected urine gives a definite answer if the child has an urinary tract infection (an increased amount of white blood cells and bacteria is present in the urine), and thus whether it requires treatment with antibiotics.

Dysuric symptoms in a child - what does the treatment look like?

Urinary tract infection confirmed by urine test is an indication for giving the child an antibiotic at home. However, it should be remembered that in the case of the youngest children (up to 3 months of age), vomiting and dehydrated children, hospitalization and intravenous administration of the medication is indicated. UTI hospital treatment usually lasts 7 days and often has to be continued on an outpatient basis.

To sum up, pain when urinating in a child is a common symptom of urinary tract infection and should prompt parents to visit their child's pediatrician. This is especially important for the youngest children who are very sensitive to rapid dehydration and their immune system is not yet fully developed.

Bibliography:Pediatrics by Wanda KawalecInternal Szczeklik 2018/2019Recommendations of the Polish Society of Children's Nephrology (PTNFD) regarding the management of a child with urinary tract infection (UTI)