A decrease in urine output in a toddler can be an indication of a moderate to severe health issue that requires medical attention. Even a short-term decrease in urination can indicate a potential problem. In many cases, if it is caught early, the treatment can be simple but it should be closely monitored.
Urinating is a necessary bodily function in all humans, including toddlers. It expels toxins from the body and expels fluids. If a toddler is not urinating, it is a sign that either the body doesn't have enough fluids or that something is blocking the urinary tract. Both situations can be a serious health concern for a toddler.
There are several potential causes of diminished urination in a toddler. One cause is a urinary tract infection, which can be caused by numerous bacteria, viruses or fungi. Blockage of the urinary tract can prevent the bladder from emptying. Possible sources of blockage include cysts, stones and injury that has shut off various parts of the urinary tract. It is also possible for a toddler to be dehydrated from illness or insufficient fluid intake, resulting in diminished urination.
If a child is suffering from another illness, like the flu, diminished urination is easily attributed to dehydration. The child may also experience darkened urine, dry mouth, persistent thirst and sunken eyes when dehydrated, according to MayoClinic.com. A urinary tract infection, which is quite common in childhood, can cause diminished urination with burning, pain, itching and strong urges to urinate with minimal output.
Dehydration is a serious health concern. The body is unable to function without proper hydration. When severe dehydration occurs a toddler may need hospitalization. An infection can begin in the lower parts of the urinary tract, such as the urethra or ureters where the urine is expelled. When left untreated, the infection can spread upwards to the bladder and kidneys, which is more serious. Cysts, polyps, inflammation from injury and any other similar urinary damage can cause significant pain when urine builds up behind the blockage.
Treatment varies depending on the cause of the toddler's urinary output decrease. Infection is often remedied with appropriate medication, such as an antibiotic or antifungal. Dehydration is best cured with increased fluids including rehydration drinks or even intravenous fluid at a medical facility. In the event that a toddler has some sort of urinary blockage, surgery may be required or pain medication to assist in passing stones if applicable.