The urinary tract is the body's drainage system. As the filtering system, the kidneys control water levels and remove waste products from the body in the form of urine. For normal functioning, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order. A problem with the urethra, bladder or kidneys can be very serious. Urinary tract infections are common in children, especially girls. When kids get recurrent urinary infections, they can cause damage to the kidneys, so it is important to recognise the signs of these infections. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:

  • Pain while voiding
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine causing a pink colour
  • Changes in the smell of urine
  • Fever and chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the lower back or abdomen

While children between the ages of 5 and 9 years may occasionally wet the bed, if your child doesn't have a bedwetting problem and suddenly it becomes an issue, this may be cause for concern. Bedwetting can also be caused by a birth defect or condition like a urinary tract infection, blockage in the urinary tract, kidney stones or kidney condition. These are all serious conditions that will not be able to just go away on their own and can be very painful for children. While bladder infections require medication to treat, preventing them can be done by teaching your child to go to the toilet when they need to go, girls to wipe from front to back, drink a lot of water and avoiding bubble bath that can aggravate the urinary tract. Dr Coetzee may assist parents who suspect an issue with their child's kidneys or bladder with diagnostic tests and treatment. If an underlying issue is found or these urinary tract infections become chronic, Dr Coetzee may refer you to a specialist nephrologist for further treatment.