Kidney problems in children range from congenital abnormalities (starts in the womb), urinary tract infections and bed wetting, to complex conditions; protein and or blood in the urine, acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease.
Single kidneys or kidney dysplasia
Poor flow of urine from the kidney
Horseshoe, ectopic or duplex kidneys
Reflux of urine up from the bladder
Good to know
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Occur in 1% of boys and 3% of girls. UTIs should be diagnosed and treated promptly in order to prevent kidney damage. If a child has recurrent UTIs there is often an underlying cause. These children should be investigated appropriately
Bed wetting. Common in children under 5
- 5yro – 15-20%
- 10yro – 10%
- 15yro – 1-2%
Often runs in families. But it can be treated
Blood and protein in the urine
The causes for blood and protein in the urine are varied. Generally blood in the urine, although scary to both child and parent, is not dangerous. The cause should be looked for but it is not an emergency. High levels of protein in the urine, is something more urgent and this needs to be investigated more urgently.
Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease
are not common in children, but both require specialized management by a Paediatric kidney specialist.