It's not known why more and more kids are showing up in emergency rooms with pain or blood in the urine from kidney stones. Sometimes, the parents can have a history of stones. But many times, researchers think there are other factors that bring patients to the hospital.
It's not surprising if it's an adult, but it was 9-year-old Leah Del-Rio who had a stone two years ago.
"She had no pain, and further testing, which I believe was a CAT scan showed she did have a kidney stone," mother Sharon Del-Rio said.
She has had several stones in the last couple years. Kids between 5 and 15 seem most at risk.
Many have heard of calcium in the diet as being important in stones, but doctors say an even more important chemical is simple table salt.
"And that salt can be in the form of fast foods or potato chips, and we're seeing more salt intake now than even before," Dr. Mark Horowitz said.
Leah may not be typical of other kids with stones.
"Me and my sister eat fast foods sometimes, but we don't really eat a lot," she said.
Kids who do eat a lot and get obese are at risk for stones. So are kids who don't drink enough water. That's not leah, either.
"I'm a really big fan of water," she said. "I like it so much."
And that makes it easy for Leah to follow guidelines for teaching kids to know if they're getting enough water.
"Have them look at their urine," Dr. Horowitz said. "And if their urine is clear rather than yellow, that means they're well hydrated, and that's the best they can do to reduce the risk of stones."
Leah is not typical of most kids with kidney stones, so obviously there are other factors involved. Treatment for stones may be simply pain control and fluids to push out a stone that's stuck. In tough cases, doctors can use sound waves to crush the stone or a laser probe to explode it.
WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS
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