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First Aid: Urination Pain

First Aid

Pain during urination can be caused by infection in the urinary system; irritation or injury of the genital area; or stones (small masses of minerals) in the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common cause of painful urination.

Signs and Symptoms

  • burning or stinging with urination
  • the urge to urinate more often
  • bad-smelling, bloody, or discolored urine (pee)
  • fever or chills
  • decreased appetite or activity
  • irritability
  • nausea or vomiting
  • lower back pain or abdominal (belly) pain
  • wetting accidents (in potty-trained kids)

What to Do

  • Call the doctor if your child has pain while urinating or can't urinate.
  • Follow the doctor's treatment instructions.
  • Encourage drinking lots of water and other fluids (like cranberry juice).
  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed for discomfort.

Think Prevention!

  • Avoid bubble baths and perfumed soaps — wash the genital area with only mild soap or lukewarm water.
  • Change soiled and very wet diapers right away.
  • Remind kids to go to the bathroom often.
  • Teach girls to gently wipe from front to back and make sure no tiny pieces of toilet paper get left behind.
  • Have sexually active teens screened for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014

Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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