Painful Urination in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Burning pain with urination is called dysuria (say "dis-YOO-ree-uh"). It may be a symptom of a urinary tract infection or other urinary problems. The bladder may become inflamed. This can cause pain when the bladder fills and empties. Your child may also feel pain if the urethra gets irritated or infected. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Soaps, bubble bath, or items that are put in the urethra can cause irritation.

Girls may have painful urination because of irritation or infection of the vagina.

Your child may need tests to find out what's causing the pain. The treatment for the pain depends on the cause.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Give your child extra fluids to drink for the next day or two.
  • Avoid giving your child fizzy drinks or drinks with caffeine. They can irritate the bladder.
  • Help your child to gently wash his or her genitals.
  • If your child is a girl, teach her to wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom.
  • To help avoid irritation, have your child avoid lotions and bubble baths.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has new or worse symptoms of a urinary problem. These may include:
    • Pain or burning when urinating, which continues after treatment.
    • A frequent need to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
    • Pain in the flank, which is just below the rib cage and above the waist on either side of the back.
    • Blood in the urine.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.