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(Blood in the Urine—Child)

Pronounced: he-mah-CHUR-e-ah


Hematuria means blood in the urine. Normally, urine does not contain any blood. There are 2 kinds of hematuria:

  • Microscopic hematuria—Urine contains a very small amount of blood. It cannot be seen with the naked eye.
  • Gross hematuria—Urine appears red or tea-colored.

The Urinary Tract

si55551330_urinary tract child.jpg
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes    TOP

Hematuria can be caused by many conditions, such as:

  • Vigorous exercise
  • Injury to the abdomen, pelvis, or internal organs of the urinary tract
  • Conditions that affect the urinary tract, such as infection, vesicoureteral reflux, blockage or abnormalities, or tumors
  • Cancer of the kidney or bladder
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia
  • Certain congenital diseases, such as polycystic kidneys
  • Certain medications

Sometimes the exact cause is not found.

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that may increase your child's chance of hematuria include:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Recent upper respiratory tract infection
  • Family history of kidney problems
  • Injury or abuse
  • Medications, such as certain antibiotics or pain relievers
  • Pelvic radiation therapy for cancer treatment

Symptoms    TOP

In some cases, there may be other symptoms with hematuria. These other symptoms will depend on the underlying condition that is causing the hematuria. For example, if a urinary tract infection is the cause, your child may have to urinate often. There may also be a burning feeling during urination.

Call your child's doctor if you see blood in the urine.

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Tests to look for infections and signs of kidney trouble may include:

  • Urine tests—to confirm the presence of blood and look for protein, bacteria, or cancer cells in the urine
  • Blood tests—to check how well the kidneys are functioning and to look for conditions that cause hematuria

Your child's doctor may also need to look at the kidneys and urinary tract. Imaging tests may include:

Other tests that may be done include:

  • Cystoscopy—to look at the lining of the bladder
  • Kidney biopsy (done in rare cases)—to remove a small sample of kidney tissue for testing

Treatment    TOP

Treatment will depend on the cause. Some causes do not require treatment. Other causes can be treated with medication. For example, a urinary tract infection is treated with antibiotics.

Surgery may be needed if the urinary tract is blocked.

Prevention    TOP

By treating the underlying condition, the doctor may be able to prevent your child from developing hematuria.


Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
National Kidney Foundation


The Kidney Foundation of Canada


Hematuria. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at:
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Accessed March 20, 2018.
Hematuria: Blood in the urine. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at:
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Updated July 2016. Accessed March 20, 2018.
Hematuria in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 16, 2017. Accessed March 20, 2018.
Urination problems. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed March 20, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardKari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 5/5/2014

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