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Friday, May 24, 2013
Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)
Urinary tract infection, bubble baths, reflux
My daughter is six years old and recently had a urinary tract infection. My pediatrician said that it might have been due to her bubble baths, but my two older boys never had a problem using it. What else might have caused the infection? I am afraid she might get another although I have stopped giving her bubble baths. My sister had some kidney problems (reflux) and I worry about my daughter having it too. Can that run in families?
Urinary tract infections (UTI) may be associated with bubble baths and this is more common in girls than boys. This may be related to the fact that the urethra is much longer in boys and hence it is harder for bacteria to get into the bladder in boys. Futhermore, girls often will have symptoms of an infection (burning or painful urination) after a bubble bath without actually having an infection. This is presumably due to irritation from soapy water on the urinary tract. This always happens to my daughters and that is why they always shower. Urinary tract infections are due to many factors. Most are not related to structural abnormalities of the urinary tract. Most are associated with a child not voiding often enough or not taking the time to empty the bowels completely and daily. Reflux refers to a condition when urine travels back towards the kidneys when the child voids and is associated with kidney infections. It does run in families. Children whose parents had reflux have a 60% chance of also having reflux. The risk if only an aunt had it is unclear.
Rama Jayanthi, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University