For years, kidney stones were almost exclusive to adults. Over the past several years, we have seen a rise in the number of children and teens developing stones as well. What has changed? Several factors can attribute to this recent phenomenon and we will dive into them below. Kidney stones are caused by crystals forming in your urine when it becomes acidic. If you have a history of kidney stones, your child has a chance of getting them as well. Be an example and teach your children the importance of daily hydration so they can create those habits early on. In most cases, kidney stones are not a one-time occurrence. If your child happens to get them, it can become a lifetime issue. Giving them the tools to prevent kidney stones is the best way to keep them at bay. Educate your children on why hydration and what we eat are so crucial to not only our kidney health but overall health as well. Once kids understand the why, it makes it easier to enforce new habits into their lives.
Hydration is key!
I’m sure you feel like hydration is drilled into your head as one of the most important daily habits. Hydration supplements are everywhere, and there is a reason for it. 75% of people are dehydrated, which can lead to all sorts of health issues, including kidney stones. Pay attention to how much water your children are consuming. It’s hard to keep up with their habits at school, so assume they aren’t drinking much water. Encourage a glass of water in the morning and plenty of water when they come home from school. Teach them the urine test! Tell them to be aware of the color of their urine. Kids are weird, so I’m sure they’ll think this is fun. The goal is for their urine to be clear or light yellow, like lemonade. Not minute maid lemonade, but the real stuff.
Many of our kids participate in outdoor sports and activities and these are great. Teach your children how important it is to stay hydrated before, during, and after these activities. Kids have lots of energy, which means they can play for an extended period and aren’t thinking about taking a break for water. This is why you have to teach them the importance of hydration. Telling them, “you need to drink water;” is not enough. When we sweat, our bodies lose water, which means it’s necessary to replenish the lost water. If you instill these habits now, they are likely to continue through adulthood.
What are your kids consuming?
If your kids love salty foods and sodas, their chances of getting kidney stones increases. Some examples of these foods are sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, potato chips, and french fries. Sodas, energy drinks, and any other drinks loaded with sugar and caffeine should also be limited. When handling kids and their diets, it’s essential not to take everything away at once. Slowly starting to incorporate healthy habits is usually the best route to take. Encourage more fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed snacks. However, try to stay away from high oxalate foods. Sparkling water is an excellent alternative to soda, and you can find those at any grocery store. Our favorite is Waterloo!
Make hydration fun!
KSPtabs are a dissolvable tablet developed by a board-certified urologist to reduce the risk of kidney stones. They come in two delicious flavors, very berry and key lime, that your kids are sure to love. They are a great alternative to sugary sports drinks as they contain key elements that replenish electrolytes lost during physical activities.
KSPtabs are completely safe for kids and teenagers. However, we recommend speaking with your physician about how many is best for your child to consume daily. Our usual recommendation for children is 1-2 tablets per day.