Summer is the season for flips flops and fun-in-the-sun. It also marks the start of kidney stone season. As warm weather brings a greater chance of dehydration, “stone” cases are at an all-time high.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more than three million people visit a physician or urologist for kidney stones each year. Many of these patients are children. And this condition is most prevalent in warm climates such as Central Texas.
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are small, solid masses (or stones) find in urine. Stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pea. The can be very painful and sometimes too big to pass through the ureter
Common symptoms for children may include:
- Painful or frequent urinatio
- Lower back pain
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
Kids may have a hard time articulating where the pain is, often just saying they have a tummy ache. If you notice any of the above symptoms and also find they are having trouble urinating, contact your physician.
Once kidney stones have been confirmed, your doctor may recommend guidelines for fluid intake and diet.
Tips for Prevention
To combat stones during the hot summer months:
- Hydrate often. Pack a refillable water bottle for day camps or outdoor activities.
- Eat less salt. Instead of crackers and chips, offer cool, crisp fruits and vegetables that are plentiful during the summer as refreshing snacks.
- Limit sodas and soft drinks. Sugary carbonated beverages can rob the body of nutrients. Try out flavored waters or no-sugar added juices as an alternative…these can be frozen also for an icy treat.
If you suspect your child might have kidney stones, contact Children’s Urology for an appointment at our Kidney Stone Center.
Adapted from the Cleveland Clinic.