Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?

Each child is different. Some of the urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms your child may experience include the following:


  • fever
  • abdominal pain 
  • colic
  • abdominal fullness
  • foul-smelling urine
  • poor growth
  • weight loss or failure to gain weight
  • irritability
  • vomiting
  • poor feeding
  • diarrhea

Older children

  • urgency to urinate
  • incontinence during day and/or night
  • frequent urination
  • painful or difficult urination
  • discomfort above the pubic bone
  • blood in the urine
  • foul-smelling urine
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • fever
  • chills
  • pain in the back or side below the ribs
  • fatigue
  • small amount of urine while voiding despite feeling of urgency

What causes a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the opening of the urethra, the hollow tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, and travel back into the bladder where they begin to multiply. Most infections arise from Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, which normally are found in the colon.