Urinary Tract Infection

All children with urinary tract infections are treated with a safe and well-tolerated antibiotic selected to treat the specific bacteria causing the infection. Children with a bladder infection are usually treated with a seven-day course of medication. Children with kidney infections should be treated for 10 to 14 days. A child who's very ill or who has a kidney infection will most likely need to be hospitalized for intravenous antibiotics until the fever subsides and we've received the results of the urine culture.

Another urine culture will be performed while your child's taking the antibiotic or when the medication is finished, to make sure the infection is gone.

If your child hasn't had an X-ray evaluation, the antibiotics should be continued until the X-rays are done and our office has told you that it's safe to stop the antibiotics.

Children with urinary infections may have unhealthy urination habits. Establishing a schedule and completely emptying the bladder every two to three hours often helps. This problem usually disappears as the child enters puberty. If your child shows no kidney damage at the time of initial evaluation, he or she has no increased risk for serious problems in the future.

Some children who have repeated urinary tract infections for no obvious reason may require continuous low-dose medication for a period of time.

Our clinic does not perform urethral dilation, a technique where the urethra is stretched. In the past, it was believed that many girls who got urinary tract infections had narrow or tight urethras. We now know that the size of the urethra is no different between girls who have infections and those who don't.

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