How common are urinary tract infections in girls?
According to an article in Urologic Clinics of North America, 7 percent of girls and 2 percent of boys have had a UTI before age 6.
Studies show that girls are slightly more prone to get UTIs than boys of the same age. UTIs are most common in girls 3 to 6 years old, though children of any age who have anatomic anomalies, children who are toilet training who do not wipe properly after using the toilet and those who have diabetes are more likely to get UTIs. Older girls who are sexually active are also predisposed to get UTIs.
What are the symptoms of UTI?
Fever is common and temperatures greater than 102.2 degrees are more likely with UTIs. Irritability, tiredness, vomiting, pain on urination, or abdominal pain can occur. Infants may not want to take the normal amount of formula or fluids. In very young infants, some may have poor weight gain as the only sign. Sometimes bedwetting or daytime accidents may occur in children who were previously toilet trained.
In general, what causes UTIs?
Bacteria can cause urinary tract infections. In 40 percent of patients with urinary tract infections and fever, who had a special study of the kidney called VCUG, findings have shown that there was evidence of vesicoureteral reflux, which means urine is not passing through the urinary tract to the bladder normally. So, urine may "reflux" back up instead of being excreted out of the body.
Why are UTIs sometimes a recurring problem?
In 20 percent of patients, UTI can recur, regardless of an abnormal anatomy of the urinary tract. When reflux is present, the patient is more likely to have a recurrent urinary tract infection since bacteria are able to enter parts of the ureters and kidney that should remain sterile. Occasionally, abnormalities of the bladder can cause it to not empty properly and cause bacterial growth. Children who are constipated may have improper bladder emptying, which can predispose them to infections.
What is the treatment?
Oral antibiotics are used, and physicians will choose medications based on the bacteria. Doctors use urine cultures to help them ensure that the particular bacteria is susceptible to the chosen antibiotic.
Children who are not able to take oral antibiotics or those with lethargy, difficulty breathing, decreased appetite or vomiting and who appear ill or very young infants may need intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Some children who have resistant organisms in their urine may need IV antibiotics to treat resistant bacteria.
Some children who have an anatomic reason for the UTI may need to take a low dose antibiotic to prevent recurrent infection and scarring of the kidney. Studies are being done to evaluate the use of antibiotics to prevent UTIs in children and in some cases prophylactic antibiotics may not be necessary.
What behavioral or lifestyle changes can help prevent UTIs?
Various recent studies on use of concentrated cranberry juice have demonstrated some preventive benefits, but cannot be used to replace antibiotic treatment when needed. Good hygiene helps in girls. Also avoidance of constipation can help promote normal bladder emptying to prevent infections.
Dr. Linda M. Lukose is a pediatrician at Bassett Healthcare Network.
How common are urinary tract infections in girls?
- Guest Column
Attitudes are changing on gas drilling
With elections over, the candidate lawn signs are gone. Otsego's permanent signage has once again returned. "For Sale" signs have reclaimed the lawns -- people attempting to sell and leave.
Balancing the city budget on kids' backs
It is ironic that the Nov. 12 issue of The Daily Star carried a story on Page 2 that the city is considering charging fees for recreation programs and paying the YMCA $65,000 for programming, staff and supplies, and on Page 3 a column by Cary Brunswick describes how poverty can affect the outcome of test scores for our youth.
Dude, where's my socioeconomic class?
Growing up in suburban and rural New Jersey, I had encountered the signs of it regularly.
Congress playing hunger games
On Nov. 1, the daily ration of Food Stamps (also known as SNAP) was cut for 47 million Americans. Each of these families now has $29 a month less to buy food.
Election choices: what are they, really?
It's going to be an interesting election, and one that determines our future for a long time. The governor is asking us to legalize casinos in upstate New York. Sustainable Otsego is asking us to support hops and breweries as our future. Most every candidate is promising to oppose fracking.
- Saturday, October 26, 2013
Nothing 'sustainable' about Otsego
By definition, our local economy is not sustainable. We are losing people due to their inability to find jobs and high taxes. Our local governments and school boards are cutting programs. The county is being forced to find a new owner for the Manor. Those things we know.
- Saturday, October 19, 2013
Sustainable Otsego is part of the problem
In a flurry of letters to the editor last week, Sustainable Otsego unfurled its banner in support of its candidates.
Harpersfield track is criticized for a reason
A recent commentary by Steve Pushkar, who describes himself as a resident of Oneonta and New York Safety Track's "marshal," complains that everything he has been reading about the track has been negative. There is a simple reason for this.
- Saturday, October 12, 2013
Sustainability shouldn't be a dirty word
There has been some confusion recently about the definition of sustainability. There has also been some willful misrepresentation.
- Saturday, October 5, 2013
Who are the real conservatives?
The old way of thinking about politics doesn't work anymore. Let me explain why the current stereotypes fail us.
- Saturday, September 28, 2013
Some considerations on shale gas
We have been told that it is not economically profitable to extract natural gas from shale deposits, be they Marcellus, Utica, Bakken, or any others, unless the market price is at least $5 to $6 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf).
Motorcycle track's critics need to relax
For the past year, all that I have been reading about in The Daily Star concerning the New York Safety Track has been from one point of view, and it has been negative.
- Saturday, September 21, 2013
Gay rights push threatens free speech
Newspapers are usually advocates of free speech. But I've come around to the idea that liberals, including their print edition mouthpieces, are the greatest threat to free speech in America.
- Monday, September 16, 2013
We must do more to prevent bullying in schools
As a new school year commences, the routine for most children and teens remains quite similar to when I attended school several decades ago. This includes back-to-school shopping, anticipation of new classes and teachers, and the excitement of getting reacquainted with friends. Unfortunately for many, another part of the routine includes the fear of being the target of bullies. What's most unfortunate is that although we as a civilized society have made tremendous strides in sciences and technologies, we have yet to find a way to end this highly destructive problem, and until we do, we must not rest.
- Saturday, September 14, 2013
It's harvest time at farmers' markets
If you haven't had a chance to discover local farmers' markets, there's still time.
- Saturday, September 7, 2013
Frack dreams are based on hogwash
Chuck Pinkey has never met an intellectually suspect right-wing idea he doesn't adore.
- Saturday, August 31, 2013
What makes good sense, and what doesn't
- Saturday, August 17, 2013
How does one define self-defense?
The George Zimmerman case in Florida, and the public reaction to the jury's verdict of non-guilty, has given rise to much public discussion of the laws that govern the use of deadly physical force in self-defense.
Time for the Oneontas to go it alone
It's time for the two Oneontas to go it alone!
- Saturday, August 10, 2013
It takes a village to raise a showman
Just last night, after singing my last song, a charming 8-year-old girl came up to the bandstand and asked if I would sing one more song.
- Attitudes are changing on gas drilling