Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) (Male)


  • A bacterial infection of the bladder
  • Also called cystitis

Call or Return If

  • Pain when passing urine becomes severe
  • Fever lasts over 48 hours after starting the antibiotic
  • Vomiting and can't keep down the antibiotic
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse

About This Topic


  • Pain, burning or stinging when passing urine
  • Suspect pain if a young child starts to cry while passing urine
  • The feeling of "can't wait" to pass urine may occur. This is called urgency.
  • Passing urine more often than normal. This is called frequency.
  • New onset of day or night-time wetting
  • Pain in the lower abdomen may also be reported. If the kidney is infected, the pain is in the flank. The flank is the side right below the ribs.
  • UTIs are a common cause of unexplained fevers in young children.
  • The urine may be cloudy and have a bad odor. Sometimes, there is some blood in the urine.


  • UTIs are caused by bacteria that travel up the urethra into the bladder.
  • Sometimes, it starts with irritation of the penis opening. Bubble bath or rubbing with soap can do this.
  • A rare cause is not emptying the bladder all the way. Reason: Urine that stays in the bladder too long can become infected.
  • Cystitis is not common in males. This gender difference may reflect the much shorter length of the female urethra.


  • A clean catch urine sample needs to be tested. A UTI is confirmed by finding white blood cells in the urine. A positive culture for bacteria is also required.

Prevention of Recurrent UTIs in Boys

  • When your child bathes, cleanse the genital area with warm water. (Soap is not needed until after puberty)
  • Don't use bubble bath, shampoo or other soaps in the bath water. (Reason: They are irritants.)
  • Drink enough fluids each day to keep the urine light-colored.
  • Urinate at least every 4 hours during the day and avoid "holding back."
  • Avoid constipation.

After Care Advice

  • Bladder infections are rare in boys.
  • Stool holding can be a cause. Reason: These children also often hold back urine.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Antibiotic by Mouth:
  • UTIs need a prescription for an antibiotic.
  • The antibiotic will kill the bacteria that are causing the bladder infection.
  • Give the antibiotic as directed.
  • Try not to forget any of the doses.
  • Give the antibiotic until it is gone. Reason: To keep the bladder infection from flaring up again.
Pain Medicine:
  • For pain when passing urine, give a pain medicine.
  • Give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen.
  • Use as needed.
  • For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Note: Lower fevers are important for fighting infections.
  • For ALL fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
Give More Fluids:
  • Give extra fluids to drink. Cranberry juice may be helpful.
  • Reason: Dilutes the urine so that it does not sting.
What to Expect:
  • Fever is usually gone in 24 hours.
  • Pain and frequency are usually much better in 48 hours.
Return to School:
  • Even if your child has a bladder infection, it cannot be spread to others.
  • Your child does not need to miss any school or child care.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2021 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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