Monday, September 6, 2010

Warning Signs You Don't Want to Miss

I've heard it over and over again, if you have a uti then you will KNOW that you have a uti. But what if you don't? More to the point, what if you don't know that your CHILD has a uti?

In May Kairi's ravenous appetite took a nosedive. Suddenly she was picking at her food and constantly telling me that her tummy hurt. Being the drama queen that she is, I generally believed her to be exaggerating and just started sending her to go potty more often. Then she had a few random fevers. Next she started wetting the bed -- something she hadn't done since February. I noticed after a while that her lips were always chapped and let her use my lip gloss occasionally while pushing more liquids.

Then the bombshell. During our trip to Texas, she suddenly started running high fevers and crying when she needed to tee-tee. I knew immediately what that signaled and took her straight to the er. A couple of hours later we had our diagnosis -- a uti. But I didn't combine the fevers and painful urnination with the other symptoms. To me they seemed to be completely separate issues. In fact, it wasn't until this last round of problems that I realized that it was all combined.

At this point Baby Girl has now had 6 suspected uti's. I say suspected because every time the culture done in the office comes back borderline. And most of the time she's treated just in case. And let me tell you, my baby girl can pee in a cup like a pro and on demand. She's GOOD.

When we finally got to see our regular pediatrician about the past few months and the suspected uti problem, he was immediately concerned. Worried that this was a recurrent problem, that may go back all the way into infant-hood (and explain the occasional low-grade fevers without any other symptoms), he scheduled an x-ray and ultrasound of her kidneys to be held this Friday. When we get more information I'll share that with you, but for now I know that we're looking to make sure that her anatomy is correct, nothing is enlarged, and that there's no scaring from past uti's.

But if your child had a uti, would you really know it? See, I always thought I would, but now I'm pretty sure I'd be wrong. Uti's left untreated can cause scaring which causes even more problems. And in infants and young children, it's not always the "omg I'm dying" pain that we experience as adults. So here's a list, taken from, that can help you recognize uti's hopefully earlier than I did.

Symptoms of a UTI can include:

pain when urinating
changes in frequency, appearance, or smell of urine
loss of appetite
lower abdominal pain
lower back pain or discomfort
UTIs can also cause bedwetting in kids who were previously dry at night. Infants and young children may only show nonspecific signs such as fever, vomiting, or decreased appetite or activity.

Some kids experience UTIs again and again — these are called recurrent UTIs. If left untreated, recurrent UTIs can cause kidney damage, especially in kids younger than 6. So it's important to know how to recognize the signs of these infections and get help for your child.


  1. Thanks for posting that! I've had one, but neither of my kids have and def a good thing to know. Oddly enough (the first part of your post reminded me) Kalila has been telling me her theezo (butt) hurts lately and that her stomach does. Its only once every couple days or so.

  2. Poor Kairi! I hope the UTI's are soon a thing of the past!