A medical Doctor, Gbenga Adebusoye, says delay in changing children’s soiled diapers and napkins increases their risk of getting Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
Adebusoye, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Jos, explained that bacteria and other infection causing microbes might enter the urinary tract when the dirty diaper or napkin was not changed in time, thereby causing UTI.
He defined Urinary tract infection (UTI), as basically an infection along the urinary tract.
He explained that the Urinary Tract was divided in to two ; the upper and lower urinary tract.
“The upper urinary tract consists of the kidney and the urethras, the kidney produces urine and it goes through the urethras into the bladder, and the bladder stores the urine for sometime before there is an urge to get the urine out.
“The lower part consists of the bladder and the urethras, which is the passage in which the urine goes to the exterior.
“If it affects the kidneys and the renal pelvis, it is called the upper urinary tract infection, and if it affects the bladder and the lower urethras, the infection is called the lower urinary tract infection.”
According to him, because the female urethra is shorter compared to the male, it makes it faster for microorganisms to travel up from the entrance into the bladder of the female, making them more prone to having UTI than their male counterpart.
“The closeness of the urethra to the anus in females than in males makes the female more susceptible to UTI, many times what causes contamination could be feces from the anus.
“Therefore, parents and caregivers should ensure they clean the anus from the perineum and past the anus (from inside out, or from the front to the back), especially in females,” he advised.
Adebusoye also said, delaying the passing of urine by children, was also a factor that predisposed them to UTI because if the bladder was not emptied regularly, the bacteria were more likely to multiply in the bladder, causing UTI.
He further stated that a baby that was not being breastfed, or having inadequate breastmilk was more susceptible to UTI because they lacked the antibodies in the breast milk that often helped to protect them against UTI.
The medical expert also listed family history of UTI, chronic diseases, constipation, abnormal kidney structure or kidney disease, such as cyst in the kidney and sexual abuse, as some of the factors that put children at risk of UTI.
According to him, the symptoms of UTI in children include fever, pains when urinating, burning or stinging sensation while urinating , frequent urination, fowl smelling urine, blood in the urine, lower abdominal pain and pain in the back.
He advised that if a child had any of the above listed symptoms, they should be taken to the hospital for proper evaluation and treatment.
He further advised parents and caregivers to ensure prompt change of diapers and napkins and imbibe good hygiene practices.
Adebusoye urged teachers to play their part in preventing UTI in children by encouraging the prompt passing of urine when they were in school, and not stop those who indicated interest in using the restroom during lessons from doing so.
While encouraging mothers to ensure adequate breastfeeding of their babies, the medical expert also advised parents to make sure the kids were always hydrated by drinking lots of water to help flush the urinary tract. (NAN)