Discharge Instructions for Pyelonephritis (Pediatric)

Your child has been diagnosed with pyelonephritis. This is a kidney infection that can be serious and can damage the kidneys. People with severe infection are usually hospitalized. Here’s what you can do at home to help your child.

Urination and hygiene

  • Do what you can to get your child to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours during the day. Make sure he or she does not delay. Holding urine and overstretching the bladder can make your child’s condition worse.

  • Encourage your child to urinate in a steady stream rather than starting and stopping during urination. This helps to empty the bladder all the way.

  • If your child is a girl, make sure she wipes from front to back.

  • Wash the child’s genital area with no or very gentle soap (not bar soap) and rinse well with water.  Dry thoroughly.

  • Constipation can make a urinary tract infection more likely. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider if your child has trouble with bowel movements.

Other home care

  • Be sure your child finishes all the medicine that was prescribed—even if he or she feels better. If your child doesn’t finish the medicine, the infection may return. Not finishing the medicine may also make any future infections harder to treat.

  • Keep your child’s bath water free of bubble bath, shampoo, or other soaps.

  • Have your child wear loose cotton underpants during the day.

  • Encourage your child to drink enough water each day to keep the urine light-colored. Ask your child's healthcare provider how much water your child should try to drink daily.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s healthcare provider, or as advised. Babies and young children often have an underlying reason for the infection. Close follow-up and further testing is very important to prevent future infections.


When to seek medical care

Call your child's healthcare provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Trouble urinating or decreased urine output

  • Severe pain in the lower back or flank

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your child's healthcare provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Vomiting

  • Bloody, dark-colored, or foul-smelling urine

  • Inability to take prescribed medicine because of nausea or any other reason