Kidney stones are something from which many adults suffer at some point in their lives. People rarely think that children likewise can develop painful kidney stones.
While they occur on a less frequent basis, pediatric kidney stones could be cause for alarm. Parents can act quickly to get their children medical attention by knowing the risk factors for kidney stones in childhood.
Children who are inactive tend to be at a higher risk of kidney stones than kids who get plenty of movement and exercise. Sometimes inactivity can occur through no fault of the child’s, however. For example, if a child has surgery and must spend time in a cast or resting in bed, he or she could easily develop kidney stones because of his or her medical condition.
If possible, children should be encouraged to move around and stay active throughout the day. Children who prefer sedentary lifestyles should be motivated to go outside, exercise, and get fresh air to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Children who develop bacterial infections in the blood, kidneys, or elsewhere in their bodies are also at a higher risk of developing kidney stones. The body’s chemical reaction to the infection many times causes the formation of what is known struvite stones. Struvite stones occur as the result of a chronic bacterial infection in the urine.
Preventing kidney stones because of bacterial infections calls for parents to take notice of their children’s symptoms. If they exhibit signs like vomiting, nausea, or having to go to the bathroom frequently, parents should have their kids tested for a urinary tract infection that could lead to kidney stones.
A poor diet is another common culprit in the formation of pediatric kidney stones. Kids who eat too much salt or protein or drink too many carbonated, caffeinated drinks are at a higher risk of developing kidney stones.
To discourage the onset of this condition, parents should encourage kids to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Kids should also be given a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as recommended amounts of daily protein. Limiting salt and caffeine can also protect children’s kidneys.
Pediatric kidney stones may not occur as often as kidney stones in adults. Even so, parents should be on guard for this condition. Taking the necessary steps now to respond to symptoms and other risk factors could help their children avoid this painful condition.