Urinary Tract Infections: Prevention
Since over 90% of urinary tract infections or UTIs occur in girls, we're probably talking about your daughter. Urinary tract infections become recurrent in 50% of patients. Recurrence is often due to some misunderstanding about genital hygiene.
To prevent future UTI's, here are some tips:
- First: Don't use bubble bath. It's very irritating to the genital area and removes the secretions that normally protect the urethra. Shampoo and soapy water are also irritants. Wash your daughter's genital area with warm water. Avoid soap until she reaches puberty. Shampoo her hair at the end of the bath.
- Second: Have your child urinate following baths.
- Third: Encourage her to drink adequate fluids each day to keep the urine light-colored. This will increase the amount of urine produced and the extra urine washes germs out of the bladder.
- Fourth: Encourage her to empty her bladder every 3 or 4 hours during the day. Holding back the urine causes normal bacteria to multiply.
- Fifth: Teach your daughter to wipe herself correctly from front to back, especially after a bowel movement.
In summary, prior to puberty, protect the female genital area against all types of soap. Warm water can keep this part of the body perfectly clean. These measures will also protect your daughter from vaginal itching and a burning sensation when passing urine.
If you think your child may need to be seen, call your healthcare provider for advice.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.