When Vanessa Frey’s newly potty-trained 2-year-old daughter came to her late one night and said it hurt to pee, Frey knew something was wrong. “I walked into the bathroom and immediately noticed a pungent smell,” she says. Frey took her to the doctor the next day, where they had her daughter pee into a collection device in the toilet. She learned her daughter had a urinary tract infection (UTI), which, says Frey, luckily went away after a course of antibiotics.
About three in 100 children experience a UTI yearly, according to the National Institute of Health. While UTIs in babies and kids are typically easy to treat, it’s essential parents recognize the symptoms and seek treatment right away to avoid complications that can lead to a kidney infection and long-term kidney damage.
You may be wondering what causes UTIs and if babies can get UTIs from diapers. Here’s why UTIs occur, the symptoms, how they’re diagnosed and treated, potential complications, and how to prevent them from recurring.