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Bladder Infection (Urinary Tract Infection—UTI) in Children

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Definition & Facts

Bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection (UTI), but any part of your child’s urinary tract can become infected including the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. UTIs are common, especially among girls. Bacteria normally found in the bowel cause most UTIs in children.

a girl in a doctor's examination

Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms of a bladder infection may include pain or burning when a child urinates. Babies and young children may have different symptoms from older children. Sometimes a fever is the only symptom of a bladder infection in a young child.


Health care professionals use your child’s medical history, a physical exam, and tests to diagnose a bladder infection. If a child has repeat infections, imaging tests may be needed to find the cause.


Treatments for bladder infections and other UTIs may include antibiotics and drinking plenty of liquids to help flush bacteria from your child’s urinary tract. Better bathroom habits and avoiding constipation may help prevent another UTI.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition

Food choices do not help prevent or treat bladder infections in children, but drinking plenty of liquids may help. Talk with a health care professional about how much liquid your child should drink, depending on his or her age, size, and other health conditions.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.

Related Diagnostic Tests

The Urinary Tract & How it Works

The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.

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Last Reviewed April 2017

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
Saul P. Greenfield, MD, FAAP, FACS, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine; Jeffrey M. Saland, MD, MSCR, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai