Urinary Tract Infection
Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections in children depend on the child's age, and may include any or all of the following:

Signs of a UTI in Infants

  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Unable to be consoled
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Failure to gain weight

Since these are generalized symptoms in most infants, the possibility of a urinary tract infection may be overlooked.

As children reach toddler age, more classic signs appear, such as painful urination, urinary frequency and urgency. It becomes easier to recognize urinary tract infections as your child starts speaking and is toilet trained.

Signs of a UTI in Older Children

  • Burning or pain with urination
  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • Fever
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • New wetting episodes or more frequent occurrences
  • Side or back pain
  • Blood in urine

Sometimes the symptoms are caused or aggravated by other sources of urethral irritation, such as bubble baths, poor hygiene or constipation.

Infection of the bladder alone usually isn't associated with fever, and generally doesn't do any long-term damage to the bladder or kidneys. However, kidney infection is usually associated with a high fever and may cause permanent damage or scarring of the kidney, even after only one infection. This is particularly true in very young children.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Urology Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5B
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2200
Fax: (415) 353-2480
Appointment information