Kidney stones are clusters of little crystals that form in the kidneys and often pass out of the body through the urine. However, sometimes the clusters can clump together and this can cause blockages in the ureters or become lodged in the bladder.
While kidney stones are more common in adults than children, they can still occur. Furthermore, it is important to have these kidney stones checked to see if they were caused by an underlying condition such as a problem with the metabolism or urinary system.
Often there are no symptoms at all, but where there is a blockage then kidney stones can be painful and lead to blood in the urine. A child may also feel generally unwell and have a high temperature and vomit. If the stone passes from the kidney to the ureter, it can be incredibly painful.
A thorough examination with a doctor will help to diagnose the kidney stones, which may include questions of how the child feels. Scans may also be required to confirm a diagnosis and to understand where they are and how large may be. Kidney stones can cause infections as well, so urine tests will be carried out to identify if an infection is present and to measure the chemicals that cause the stones.
Some stones can be broken up using sound waves (lithotripsy) but ones that are stuck may need to be removed by an endoscope and a laser device. In other cases, surgery may be required.