Many parents opt for home remedies to treat UTI in kids because these remedies leave no side effects. Besides, they are practical and easy to execute.
Kids are prone to UTI – doubt about it. The infection affects the bladder and the urethra mostly, but it can reach the kidneys if not treated.
UTIs are uncomfortable. A baby may exhibit fussiness, fever, or throwing up. On the other hand, older kids may have a burning sensation while peeing, an urge to frequently pee and lower abdominal pain, besides fever.
Unary tract infections in kids occur when bacteria get into the urethra, bladder, or kidney. The good news is, these infections are easy to treat naturally.
In this write, I’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, and the most effective home remedies for UTI in kids.
What is UTI?
A urinary tract infection is typically an infection of the kidneys (pyelonephritis) and the bladder (cystitis). Most kids get bladders infections, which is less severe than the kidney infection but really uncomfortable.
What causes a urinary tract infection in a child?
The majority of UTIs in children are due to bacteria. But some fungi and viruses can cause bladder infections too, especially in immune-compromised kids.
How do kids get urinary tract infections?
Bacteria from the skin get into the urethra and multiply to infect the urinary system. In girls, the bacteria from poop can get into the vagina and cause the UTI.
UTIs are more common in kid girls than boys because of the shorter urethra. Besides, the proximity of the vagina and the anus makes it easier for bacteria to get into the vagina and urethra.
Children with bladder and kidney problems are susceptible to urinary tract infections. For example, vesicoureteral reflux causes the urine to flow back into the ureters and kidneys from the bladder. In turn, this causes the multiplication of germs.
Other factors that can pre-dispose your kids to urinary tract infections include:
- Poor toilet hygiene and habits
- Uncircumcised boys under one year
Signs and symptoms of UTI in kids
- Pain while urinating
- Increased Urinary frequency
- Foul-smelling and cloudy urine
- A compelling urge to urinate
- Loss of urinary control
- Abdominal pain
- Flank pain
16 How to prevent kids from getting UTI: Home remedies for UTI in kids
There are lots of home remedies for UTI in children. While antibiotics will yield results, most often, they come with undesirable effects. If you apply the following measures, your boy or child will be free of UTI in no time.
1. Encourage your child to take lots of water
Drinking water helps your child urinate many times. As a result, the flow of urine helps to flush bacteria and other toxins from the urinary system.
For babies less than months, breast milk is enough to make her/him urinate many times.
2. Wearing cotton underwear and loose clothes can help
Cotton underwear is very comfortable and breathable. They allow free flow of air, which ensures that the private parts are dry. Bacteria can multiply in dry areas; therefore, this method cures as well as prevents your child from getting UTI.
Loose clothes offer sufficient ventilation, which eliminates the chances of growth of harmful bacteria.
3. Give your kids Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that suppress the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and other microorganisms in the body. So probiotics are better home remedies for UTI in toddlers and older kids because it restores the natural flora of the body and improves bacterial resistance.
You can get probiotics from fermented foods like yoghurt.
4. Give Lemon Juice
Lemon juice will give your child have an increased frequency of urination. In effect, frequent urination flushes out UTI causing bacteria and other toxins from the body.
Besides, lemon juice, in some studies, has shown to be effective against E. coli, a bacteria that causes UTI. Typically, the juice maintains the correct urinary tract pH, which hinders bacteria from growing.
Add half a cup of lemon juice to water and give it your child every morning.
5. Eliminate acidic foods from your child’s diet
When your child consumes acidic food, it is metabolized to give alkaline by-products. That means the urine will be less acidic (alkaline). An alkaline environment favours the rapid growth of bacteria, which results in bladder infections.
For kids below six months, breastfeed them while those beyond that age give them bland food and other non-acidic foods.
6. Ensure that your child’s genitalia is clean
One of the most effective home remedies for UTI in toddler girl is changing the diaper frequently. Soon as she soils the diaper, change her, and before you put on a clean new diaper, wiper her genitalia with a baby wipe, preferably anti-bacterial baby wipes.
Before changing a diaper, clean your hands first. Use cloth diapers.
7. Wipe from Front to Back (for girls)
Wiping from front to back is another effective home remedies for UTI in girls. The technique prevents carrying faecal matter towards the vagina.
Faecal matter has harmful bacteria that cause UTI. When you wipe back to front, you bring that bacteria to the perianal region, where it can quickly get into the urethra.
So, advise older girls to wipe from front to back. And when you clean your toddler girl after poop, do the same.
8. Discourage your kids from holding urine
Kids tend to hold urine for many reasons. You should discourage them from such a habit and encourage them to urinate more often.
Look, a kid with UTI will feel pain while urinating, which may discourage them. Encourage them by telling them that frequent urination will clear the bacteria from the system.
9. Give them foods rich in vitamin C
There are lots of food that contain Vitamin C. The vitamin usually makes the urine more acidic, a factor that prevents the growth of UTI causing bacteria E. coli.
Also, you can buy them vitamin C supplements. But it should be in consultation with the doctor.
Still, pineapples are one of the most effective home remedies for UTI in kids as it contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory compound, which may reduce UTI symptoms.
10. Give your kid pure Cranberry extract
Cranberry juice is one of the most popular home remedies for UTI in children, especially those having recurrent UTIs. Cranberry juice prevents bacteria from adhering to the bladder, thus preventing infection.
Give concentrated cranberry extract (300 mg) twice daily. Alternatively, 8 oz. of pure unsweetened cranberry juice thrice a day is enough. However, the dosage depends on age.
11. Add Garlic the kid’s Diet
Research shows that garlic is effective in combating multi-drug resistant bacteria associated with urinary tract infections. Therefore, including garlic in your child’s diet can help keep UTIs at bay.
12. Use some Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil has potent antimicrobial properties. That means it can hinder bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
You can use coconut oil in various ways. However, the simplest and the commonest is using oil for cooking food. Alternatively, you can apply a little coconut to the urethra of your child to make urinating easier.
13. Give your child coconut water
Coconut water is obtained from immature coconut fruits. This water is popular in treating urinary tract infections, especially in Asia. Besides, its antimicrobial properties, coconut water has a diuretic effect (frequent urination). This flashes out the bacteria from your child’s system.
You can give your child up to 12 ounces of coconut water per day. However, this water isn’t suitable for children under months, and people with conditions that may lead to potassium build up.
14. Place a Warm Towel
Some types of UTIs in kids result in severe lower abdominal and flank pain. You can manage the pain by using a warm towel. Warm the towel in warm water and place it at the lower abdomen. Repeat it several times a day, but ensure that the temperature is right for the child’s body.
The heat penetrates deeply, which relieves pain and accelerates the recovery process. Heat stops the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Thus, an instant pain relief.
For toddlers, give them a good warm bath. The warm water relieves the pain and also cleanses the genitalia properly; thus, preventing further infection.
15. Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy for UTI in kids as it initiates a quick relief from urinary tract infections. Its generous amounts of potassium the development and multiplication of E. coli bacteria within the urinary tract, which eliminates germs.
Remember, apple cider vinegar has acetic acid. The acid has anti-bacterial properties, which kill harmful bacteria within the urinary tract.
Add a drop of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and give it to your child. It may taste awful, so add a teaspoonful of honey to taste. Administer it twice a day for a week.
The high water content in cucumber makes them one of the most effective home remedies for UTI in kids. Though they work well in combination with other treatments, they are still effective on their own.
You can encourage your kid to chew them directly. If not, soak pieces of cucumber in water overnight to get a cucumber-flavoured drink.
You can add a few slices of lemon to infuse some vitamin C into the drink. Vitamin C is another effective home remedy for UTI in children.
Signs that you should take your kid to the doctor
When your child exhibits the following symptoms, it means the infection has become severe, and you need to see a doctor:
- Severe pain when urinating
- Fever – about 101°F
- Cloudy urine with traces of blood
If left untreated, urinary tract infection can affect the bladder and kidneys of your kids and may develop in severe health issues. Therefore, you should be on the look for any symptoms. Better yet, you can practice hygiene to prevent the infection from occurring in the first place.
The above home remedies for UTI in kids are effective, and they help to control recurrent UTIs in kids. However, if they do not respond, conduct your family doctor, nurse practitioner, or urologist right away.