When your child cries during urination, the most likely culprit of her pain is a urinary tract infection, also known as a bladder infection. Urinary tract infections can cause painful urination and other symptoms, according to Kids Health. Urinary tract infections are usually treated with antibiotics, states Ask Dr. Sears. Infection can sometimes spread to the kidneys if a urinary tract infection is left untreated, suggests PubMed Health.
Figuring Out What's Wrong
Ask your child about his problems with urination. For example, if he is experiencing a burning sensation when he urinates or if he feels that he is going more frequently, he may have a urinary tract infection, according to Kids Health. If your child is too young to talk about the problem, you will have to keep an eye on him to figure out if he is urinating more frequently or if he is showing signs of distress. Look at your child's urine as well. If it appears cloudy or has a very strong odor, those can also be indications of a urinary tract infection.
What Can Cause Painful Urination
A urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract. This can occur if your child is not wiping properly. For example, girls should wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the bowels to the vagina or urinary tract, warns Kids Health. Children in diapers may contract urinary tract infections from diaper changes that are not frequent enough or when you use a stool-contaminated baby wipe to clean around the vaginal area, according to Ask Dr. Sears. Using bubble baths also can irritate your child's urinary tract.
How to Treat It
Urinary tract infections are commonly treated with a course of antibiotics, so your child's pediatrician might prescribe an antibiotic if a urinary tract infection is found, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. The type of antibiotic and the strength of the dose will depend on the severity of the infection. In addition, your pediatrician might suggest drinking extra water and cranberry juice to flush out the bacteria and having your child urinate more frequently, according to Ask Dr. Sears. After the course of antibiotics is finished, your pediatrician may retest the urine to ensure that the infection is gone.
When to Consult Your Pediatrician
If you suspect that your child has a urinary tract infection, contact your pediatrician right away, suggests Kids Health. Your pediatrician will conduct tests to ensure that this is the problem rather than a more rare problem that can cause painful urination such as vaginitis or a pinworm infection. If your child develops a fever, lower back pain, belly pain, vomiting or chills, the infection may have spread to her kidneys. Seek medical help immediately if you suspect a kidney infection because chronic kidney infections can cause long term damage to the kidneys and some acute kidney infections can be life threatening, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse.
- PubMed Health; Urinary Tract Infection -- Children; October 2010
- KidsHealth; Urinary Tract Infections; April 2009
- AskDrSears.com: Bladder Infections
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Urinary Tract Infection -- Diagnosis
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Infomation Clearinghouse: Urinary Tract Infections in Children