Preventing Kidney Stones in Kids

Health Watch

Are you keeping an eye out for kidney stones in your child? Some doctors say you should be.

Each year more than a half-million Americans go to the ER for kidney stones. Severe pain, bloody urine, and vomiting are just three of the awful symptoms. But even worse, they’re increasing in children.

Gregory Tasian, MD, MSC, MSCE, Attending Urologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said, “The rate is increasing at about five percent per year. So, it’s a dramatic increase.”

And those who have stones have a 50 percent risk of developing another one within five to seven years. Risk factors for kids include being overweight, being dehydrated, and being prescribed unnecessary antibiotics.

Doctor Tasian said, “Right now, we know that there are these five antibiotics that are associated with kidney stones, mainly cephalosporins as you said, broad-spectrum penicillin’s which is something like augmentin.”

Risk also increases during temperature extremes – so make sure your child drinks extra fluids in the heat of the summer and cold of winter.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggests putting your child on the dash diet to decrease the risk of developing stones. With ways to protect your child from kidney stones,

Small kidney stones may pass at home with extra fluids.

For others, you may need medication or shock wave therapy to break up the stone, or a ureteroscopy. But you should not wait longer than six weeks if trying to pass it on your own.

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