The presence of leukocytes, or white blood cells, within a child's urine can indicate a urinary tract infection, explains American Family Physician. When the bladder is irritated due to infection, leukocytes are commonly present in urine. Once the physician detects leukocytes through a urinalysis, the sample is sent for further study to detect whether bacteria grow, which typically requires between 24 and 48 hours for conclusive results. The analysis of the urine culture also reveals the specific strain of bacteria.
Most UTI cases occur due to outside germs inhabiting the urethra and spreading throughout the rest of the urinary tract, states American Family Physician. The urinary tract includes the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys. In rare cases, infected blood can cause a UTI. Bladder infections and kidney infections are the most common forms of UTIs, although kidney infections often progress from bladder infections. Symptoms of a bladder infection include frequent urination, urinary incontinence, burning sensation during urination, mild abdominal pain and low fever. High fever and back pain on one side characterize kidney infections.
Oral antibiotics are effective in treating UTIs, according to American Family Physician. Patients must complete a full prescribed course of antibiotics to properly kill the infection. Although most children who experience UTIs have normal, healthy urinary tracts, repeated infections may indicate a defect. Additionally, children who experience a UTI at a particularly young age may also have a defect within the urinary tract. Ultrasounds and other imaging tests are effective for revealing underlying causes.