Although urinary tract infections are of particular concern in young children, as they may lead to permanent health problems, there is no consensus for their acute management. We carried out a mailed survey of 455 general practitioners, 143 paediatricians (randomly selected from a list of physicians in the Rhône-Alpes region of France) and 45 paediatric nephrologists (all the members of the "Société de Néphrologie Pédiatrique") to examine their attitudes to the management of a fictitious case of a young girl with symptoms indicative of acute pyelonephritis. The responses given by the general practitioners and paediatricians were similar, whereas those given by the paediatric were similar, whereas those given by the paediatric nephrologists were often different, for example 20% of the general practitioners and 17% of the paediatricians said they would hospitalize the child, compared with 69% of the paediatric nephrologists. The majority of the general practitioners and paediatricians favoured single oral antibiotic therapy, whereas the paediatric nephrologists were split between single and combined antibiotic therapy, but preferred intravenous administration. The most frequently prescribed drug was a penicillin. The heterogeneity of the results from this survey stresses the need for the assessment of various strategies in terms of their efficacy for preventing kidney scarring and their risk-to-benefit ratios in well-designed randomised controlled trials.