Home > Mom's Life > Mom's Health and Fitness > General Health > Illnesses and Diseases > Kidney Stones on the Rise in U. S. Children
|

Kidney Stones on the Rise in U. S. Children

If you need another reason to avoid feeding your children processed and junk food, you've got one: It's a suspected cause of a growing health problem in young children – kidney stones.

A recent New York Times report states that kidney stones are now showing up in children as young as five or six years old, and pediatric urologists and nephrologists across the United States are seeing a steep rise in young patients. Research has found that dietary factors are the leading cause of kidney stones, which are crystallizations of substances in the urine.

Experts in pediatric urology say kids are eating too much salt and not drinking enough water – the two main causes for this condition. But, as an article on kids' salt cravings in USA Today states, "There's less danger in the salt shaker than in the processed and fast foods many children live on." Processed foods like sandwich meats, canned soups, and packaged meals; chips and French fries; and even sports drinks like Gatorade are loaded with hidden salt. Avoiding those foods and drinking plenty of water are the most important steps in preventing kidney stones.

Children with kidney stones may complain of pain in their side or stomach, may feel sick to their stomach, and may pass blood in their urine. Medical treatment is not always required – many stones will pass on their own. But treatment is necessary if a stone is too large, if it blocks the flow of urine, or if there are signs of infection. According to the National Institutes of Health, most kidney stones can be treated with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), an alternative to surgery that requires no cutting, produces less pain, and offers a quicker recovery. An overnight hospital stay is usually not needed.

If there is a history of kidney stones in your family, your kids may be at risk, and it's doubly important to teach them lifelong habits of good hydration and a balanced diet – one that avoids processed, high-salt, high-fat foods.

|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

Top 10 Group Halloween Costumes for Families
These store-bought and Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume ideas for groups are the perfect way to show off your creative side at your Halloween party or while trick-or-treating.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

12 Spine-Tingling Halloween Movies for Teens
Are you looking for a movie with just a little bit of spook-factor for your teen? Check out these 12 spine-tingling Halloween movies!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!