There are some things that you and your child can do help reduce the frequency of UTIs.

Going to the toilet

  • Encourage your child to go to the toilet regularly. Children should wee every 3 to 4 hours during the day, before having a bath and before going to bed. Your child should not ‘hold on’. In some children, this can increase the risk of getting UTIs.
  • Change your baby’s nappies regularly.
  • Avoid constipation. If your child has difficulty doing a poo, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about how to help your child manage this.
  • If your child has bladder dysfunction (the bladder does not completely empty when passing urine), your doctor or nurse may suggest double voiding. This means your child goes for a wee twice to help empty his or her bladder. Your child should go for a wee standing up (including girls) and then try again after a few moments, while sitting down.

Eating and drinking

  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Make sure your child eats lots of fruit and vegetables, is physically active and gets regular sleep. A fit and healthy child is better able to fight off infections.

Outside the home

  • Talk with other people who look after your child – family members, childminders and teachers at school – to help make sure they give your child regular drinks, encourage him or her to go to the toilet often, and are aware of any medicines that your child is taking to prevent or treat UTIs.

For girls

  • After she does a bowel movement (does a poo), make sure she wipes her bottom from the front towards the back. If she wipes her bottom from the back towards the front, any bacteria that is in the bowel can get into the urethra and cause a UTI.

For boys

  • Boys have a foreskin, a sleeve of skin that surrounds the head of the penis. Make sure to clean the area that you can easily reach, but do not force it back, as this can cause damage.
  • Some boys with recurrent UTIs, especially if they have structural abnormalities of the urinary system, need a circumcision, an operation to remove the foreskin from the penis.