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20 May 2016

Treating and Preventing Cystitis in Children

 Recently on the Rowlands Pharmacy blog, we’ve been lifting the lid on myths about cystitis and treatments for cystitis. Cystitis is a bladder inflammation that most often affects women, but we’ve discussed how to spot cystitis in men too, and it’s not just adults that can have it.

In this post we’re going to talk about how to identify the symptoms of cystitis in children, as well as suggestions for seeking treatment and preventing their cystitis from recurring.

Can children get cystitis?

child sits on the potty who has cystitis

It’s not only perfectly possible for children to develop cystitis, but according to the NHS, by the age of 16 around one in 10 girls and one in 30 boys will have developed a urinary tract infection (UTI) of some kind.

It can be very distressing to see young children in particular suffering with the symptoms of cystitis, but the good news is that in most cases it can be treated quite easily. Not many people realise that cystitis is generally more common among baby boys until around the six-month old mark, when it is more likely to be developed by girls. Children with diabetes are also more likely to suffer from UTIs.

How to spot the symptoms of cystitis in children

child with cystitis sits on the potty

It can be tricky to pinpoint a UTI in young children, which is why GPs will often suggest a urine test if they are displaying common symptoms such as a high temperature, abdominal pain and irritability. If you suspect your child has cystitis you should seek medical advice.

Look out for the following symptoms, though they may be present in varying combinations:

  • A high temperature
  • An upset tummy (sickness and diarrhoea)
  • Appearing irritable, drowsy and generally unwell
  • Unusual bedwetting
  • Expressing a burning sensation when peeing
  • Blood in urine

If possible, you may need to ask your child specific questions in order to ascertain whether they have some of the cystitis symptoms.

Treating the symptoms of cystitis in children

child with cystitis takes medicine

Trying to ease pain and discomfort is key when addressing cystitis and other UTIs, so in the first instance, make sure the sufferer is drinking plenty of water and where appropriate administer suitable pain relief such as Calpol Infant. You should also take your child to your family GP as soon as possible.

Once your GP has tested and confirmed the cystitis diagnosis, they will usually prescribe some antibiotics to clear the infection. If your child is under three months old or presenting with very severe symptoms you may be advised to take them to hospital for assessment.

Preventing cystitis in children

child that might have cystitis sits on the toilet

The NHS has lots of helpful advice on how to prevent cystitis in children, and establishing good toilet hygiene habits is very important.

This includes ensuring that children are emptying their bladder fully when going to the toilet and also avoiding contact of soiled toilet paper with the genitals. Girls must wipe from front to back after urination to prevent cross contamination between bacteria found at the back passage to the urethra.

Ensuring a child’s diet has plenty of liquid and fibre can also help to regulate toilet trips. It’s also recommended that you choose loose fitting underwear made of cotton for little ones, which allows the skin to breathe.

Did you know that children could get cystitis? For further help and advice on cystitis in children and adults, visit the Cystitis page in our Advice Centre, and take a look at our full range of cystitis treatments and cystitis relief products available to buy online. However, we always recommend that you consult your family GP for a diagnosis and the correct treatment for cystitis in children, and it’s important to check that any medicines you use are suitable for little ones. If you need any help, you can also contact our pharmacists.