Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
A UTI is caused by bacteria (germs) getting into your child’s urine. These germs come from the bowel and pass from the anus (back passage) to the urethra (the tube which passes urine (wee) from the bladder). These germs thrive in urine and quickly multiply to cause infection. Some infections stay in the bladder; others go higher up into the kidneys.
How will I know if my child has a UTI?
The most common symptoms of a UTI include:
- Pain, a burning or stinging sensation when passing urine.
- An urge to pass urine more frequently but only a very small amount may be produced.
- A high temperature.
- Vomiting (being sick).
- Tiredness and lack of energy.
- Poor appetite.
- Not gaining weight as expected.
- Abdominal (tummy) pain.
- Unpleasant smelling urine.
- Cloudy urine.
- Blood in urine.
Are there any risks or possible complications of a UTI?
Some children may only ever have one UTI while others may have several. Sometimes the UTI is caused by abnormal kidneys or problems with your child’s urinary tract.
In some cases the UTI is severe enough to cause permanent damage and scarring of the kidneys. Babies under the age of
6 months who have been diagnosed with a UTI may need further tests and scans.
What will happen while my child is in hospital?
Your child’s doctor will decide what type of antibiotics your child will be given and for how long. Antibiotics can be given as a tablet, medicine or if needed, a cannula (a small fine tube) will be inserted into a vein. The cannula will be held in place with a dressing and bandage.
The cannula will be flushed (a saline solution is injected into the cannula) before and after medication is given. A cannula makes it easier to give any other medications, if needed.
Those who need medication through a cannula will need to stay in hospital a little longer. The treatment will depend on your child’s age and other symptoms they may have.
What scans will my child need?
Your child may have one or all of the following scans:
- an ultrasound scan. If this is needed you will be given a leaflet explaining this in more detail. Not everything can be seen on this scan, for example, kidney scarring.
- a dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scan. If this is needed you will be given a leaflet explaining this in more detail. This scan will be carried out during an outpatient appointment.
- a micturating cystourethrogram (MCUG) scan. If this is needed you will be given a leaflet explaining this in more detail. This scan is also carried out during an outpatient appointment.
Will my child have any medications to take home?
Your child will usually take a course of antibiotics and later may be given a lower dose to take at night until they have been seen by the consultant.
What should I do if my child gets another UTI?
If you suspect your child has another UTI, you should contact your GP who will check your child’s urine sample.
What should I tell my child?
If your child asks about the tests being carried out, you should try to reassure them and explain in simple terms what is being done and why. If a cannula is in your child’s hand; this can be scary for them but it is important to keep it secure.
University Hospital of North Tees
Children’s and Young Persons Emergency Department
Telephone: 01642 624533
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If you have any worries or concerns, you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours. Outside surgery hours, you should contact your GP’s surgery for the Out of Hours Service number.
Further information is available from:
Telephone: 111 (when it is less urgent than 999)
Calls to this number are free from landlines and mobile phones
or via the website at www.nhs.uk
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1177
Date for Review: 12 February 2027