Kidney stones are not common in children, but when they occur and are painful, your child will need a comprehensive evaluation and effective treatment. Our pediatric urologists work closely with kidney doctors (nephrologists) and endocrinologists to find the cause of your child’s stones and start treatment to relieve discomfort as quickly as possible. We also offer dietary recommendations to prevent new kidney stones from forming.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones in Children
Discomfort from kidney stones can appear in many ways. Your child may need to see a pediatric urologist if they experience:
- Pain in their abdomen or groin
- Difficult or painful urination
- Blood in their urine
- Nausea or vomiting
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Diagnosing Kidney Stones in Children
Kidney stones can run in families. Understanding your family’s medical history can help us diagnose your child. We may perform one or more the following tests to determine the best treatment for your child.
Blood and Urine Tests
These tests check your child’s blood and urine to find out why a stone developed and how to prevent kidney stones in the future. If performed in a clinic, we may get results from these tests within three days. Your doctor may ask you to collect your child’s urine at home over 24 hours using a special kit that can be mailed back. It typically takes about a month for the results of a urine test when the kit is mailed in.
Ultrasounds (also known as sonograms) use sound waves to create images that help us look for kidney stones in your child’s kidneys, ureters, and bladder. It’s a painless, outpatient exam performed by a doctor or technician. It does not expose your child to radiation.
Collecting Stones at Home
If your child passes a stone between doctor visits, try to collect it, save it in a jar or plastic bag at room temperature, and bring it to your next visit. The stone can be analyzed to learn its chemical make-up. This information can be used to determine why your child formed a stone and how to prevent them in the future.
Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is proud to be nationally ranked in nine pediatric specialties.
Why Choose Duke
A Team of Specialists
We work closely with pediatric experts throughout Duke and coordinate our efforts to make getting care more convenient for you. Whenever possible, your child will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists in a single visit. This comprehensive care has earned us national recognition.
If Your Child Needs Surgery
You can feel confident in your child’s treatment at Duke Children’s. We are one of only a few hospitals in the U.S. verified as a Level 1 children's surgery center by the American College of Surgeons. This Level 1 designation recognizes our commitment to providing the safest and highest-quality surgical care to our young patients.