Ever hear of kidney stones in kids? Parents, listen up.
What you're feeding your child could end up being a real pain.
For 7-year-old Matthew Sweitzer it started with a few belly aches.
Over time, the pain got worse. Stuart Sweitzer says, "He was very uncomfortable.he was crying. He was doubled over. I knew something was definitely wrong."
There was! Matthew had kidney stones.
Doctor Alicia Neu says, "Often the kids will present with a little bit of stomach pain, but have bloody urine and that's what the parent will notice."
You wouldn't think kids could get kidney stones.
But doctors at Johns Hopkins say they're seeing the condition more often.
Doctor Neu says, "We actually have seen kids as young as two and three and four years of age with kidney stones.
More commonly, it's in a little bit older child, you know, a pre-teen or adolescent."
A diet loaded with salt could be the culprit.
Doctor Neu says, "Too much salt in the diet can increase the amount of calcium in the urine and increase the risk for calcium stones."
To reduce your child's risk for kidney stones, limit salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
Avoid high-sodium processed foods, including soda.
Get them to drink plenty of water instead.
Doctor Neu says, "If two or three hours goes by and they don't feel like they need to go to the bathroom, then they're not drinking enough."
Most stones will pass out of the body on their own.
But some kids, like matthew, will need to have them surgically removed.
Kidney stones are rarely a serious condition, but they are painful.