Kidney stones, once considered a problem mainly for adults, now affects some children as young as 5 or 6. The best way to prevent kidney stones in kids is to make sure they drink enough liquid-mainly water. Drinking plenty of liquids keeps urine diluted, and helps flush away minerals that might form stones.
Most teens should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day. For younger children, ask their health care provider how much they should drink. Some children can't drink as much as others because of urinary incontinence or other urinary issues.
The amount of liquid a child or teen needs depends in part on their activity level. Those who live and exercise in hot weather may need more liquid to replace the fluid they've lost through sweating.
Water is the best liquid for preventing kidney stones. Other liquids such as citrus drinks can also help prevent stone forming. Lemon and lime juice have very high levels of citrate, which stops crystals from forming stones.
Reducing sodium may help prevent kidney stones. Sodium is found in many canned, packaged and fast foods, as well as many meats, seasonings and condiments. Adults and children age 14 and older should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Younger children should consume even less sodium. Kids ages 1-3 should have less than 1,500 mg; ages 4-8, less than 1,900 mg; and ages 9-13, less than 2,200 mg.