Kidney stones in kids

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that develop in the kidneys, and if you've ever had them or known someone who has, you know how incredibly painful they can be. Over the past 20 years, the number of Americans who have developed kidney stones has increased by 70 percent, and the fastest increase has been in kids.

Taylor Riggins takes a water-filled plastic mug everywhere and it's close by at home. And on the sports field, Taylor is doing everything she can to stay healthy after a scare last year.

"I went to sleep and I kept throwing up," Taylor told ABC30.

After weeks of doctor's visits, the Riggins took Taylor to a specialist, who diagnosed her problem.

Taylor's mother, Marian Riggins, told ABC30, "I didn't believe it. Honestly I just thought no way, kidney stones are for people my age."

Gregory Tasian, MD, MSc, MSCE, Pediatric Urologist and Clinical Epidemiologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, says kidney stones are on the rise in kids, by as much as 6 percent every year. Our diets could be to blame.

Tasian told ABC30, "In the United States, about 85 percent of children don't drink enough water."

Here's one estimate for parents to follow: kids ages 4 to 8 need at least 46 ounces of water a day. Girls age 9 to 13 need at least 57 ounces of water and boys age 9 to 13 need 65.

Doctors also recommend all kids decrease salt intake to less than two grams every day.

The Riggins have completely changed the way they think about mealtime, so they can avoid extra salt.

"Zero processed foods. We don't eat any fast foods," Marian told ABC30.

While dinner takes more preparation, the Riggins say it's time well-spent if they can prevent kidney stones in the future.

Tasian says kidney stones can come back quickly without changes to diet or behavior. Decreasing salt intake and drinking more water can reduce the risk of recurrence. In the warmer weather months, when the temperature goes above 83 degrees, the chance of developing kidney stones goes up by 35 percent.

For more information, contact:

Ashley Moore
Public Relations Specialist
The Department of Surgery
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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