VUR symptoms your child may show

VUR symptoms – what to look for


VUR presents itself most commonly with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) accompanied by a fever, or what your doctor may call febrile urinary tract infections (fUTIs).

Among children with a first-time febrile UTI, about 40% have VUR.1

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Signs of UTIs include:

  • Foul smelling or cloudy urine
  • Burning or pain when urinating
  • Frequent and urgent urination
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Stomachache
  • Vomiting
  • Backache
  • Side pain
  • Irritability

Infants with infection may not show these signs. Instead, they may have diarrhea, poor feeding, fever and increased irritability. If there is any question, call your healthcare provider and have your child’s urine checked. Children can quickly become very sick.

What should I look for?

A UTI can be in either the bladder or the kidney. A UTI in the bladder is called “cystitis.” Children who have VUR often have kidney infections because VUR allows bacteria that may be in the bladder to travel up to the kidney.

What are symptoms of a kidney infection?

Most likely your child will

  • Be irritable
  • Have a high fever
  • Not want to eat
  • Vomit
  • Experience back pain

If your child has any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor right away. Once a urine test has confirmed the UTI, you may want to ask your doctor if your child could have vesicoureteral reflux and seek out a pediatric urologist for help.

  1. Baskin LS, Kogan BA, Stock JA. Handbook of Pediatric Urology Third Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2019.