Urinary Tract Infections in Girls

At CHOC, we help treat and prevent urinary tract infections in girls (UTI).

A UTI is the result of bacteria getting into the bladder and staying there. Some types of bacteria double every 20 minutes in the bladder. The longer bacteria sits in the bladder, the more risk you are for UTI.

young girl running in the park with friends

Causes of Urinary Tract Infections in Girls

  • Poor water intake
  • Poor genital hygiene
  • Infrequent voiding
  • Constipation

Preventing Urinary Tract Infections in Girls

Increase Water Intake

Children should drink one cup of water (~eight ounces) equal to their age. For example, at 4 years old, a child should drink four cups of water each day. At 8 years old, she should drink about eight cups per day.

More water dilutes urine and makes it harder for bacteria to grow. Monitoring urine color is a good way to check water intake. Urine should be clear to pale yellow. Darker urine means the child needs more water.

Timed Voiding

Children should urinate about seven times each day—every 2 hours they’re awake. She should urinate even if she doesn’t feel like she needs to go. Children who hold urine longer are at a higher risk for UTI and other bladder problems.


Children should learn proper hygiene once toilet trained. Girls should wipe from front to back. This method avoids introducing bacteria from the anus into the urethra.

Get Going Everyday

Children should have easy bowel movement daily. Many children can find constipation relief by increasing water and fiber.

If this is not enough, then adding Miralax® (as directed) may help. Stool is where most of the E. Coli that causes UTIs comes from.

Treating Urinary Tract Infections in Girls

Prophylactic Antibiotics

A doctor may prescribe your child prophylactic antibiotics to help keep urine sterile. It is important to take medication prescribed only for you. Please don’t share your medication with others.

CHOC’s Urology Center diagnoses, treats and creates prevention plans. If the child has an infection, our staff may also perform some or all the following studies:

  • Cystoscopy
  • Renal ultrasound
  • Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)