Children's Hospital Colorado
The Stone Center

Kidney Stones in Children

Kids aren’t just mini adults. In fact, they’re incredibly different. That’s why they need incredibly different care.

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What is a kidney stone?

A kidney stone is a hard crystal that forms in urine inside the kidneys. It is made of salts and minerals that form inside the kidneys. The right balance of these salts and minerals helps prevent kidney stones. However, an imbalance of these salts and minerals can cause kidney stones to form.

Kids with kidney stones typically pass them on their own through their bladder. While this is painful, the stones cause no permanent damage. Stones that get stuck in the ureter, which runs from the kidneys to the bladder, can cause infection and may require surgery.

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we know that you don't want to see your child in pain. That's why our pediatric experts at The Stone Center will help your child pass their stone with as little pain as possible. They'll also create a plan to help prevent kidney stones in the future.

What causes kidney stones in children?

Several factors can put a child at risk of developing kidney stones. And, kidney stones are often the result of multiple causes.

Common causes for kidney stones include:

  • An imbalanced diet: for example, diets that are high in salt or animal protein such as beef, chicken, fish or pork
  • Certain medical conditions: such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, obesity, renal tubular acidosis and others
  • Medications: your doctor should review the medications your child is taking
  • History: family or personal history of kidney stones
  • Dehydration: not drinking enough water

Who gets kidney stones?

Anyone can get a kidney stone, even a young child. In most cases, kidney stones result from an imbalanced diet and not drinking enough water. In some cases, kidney stones form as the result of certain medical conditions or medications that increase stone-forming substances in the urine. Many children with kidney stones have family members who previously had them.

Next steps

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Get to know our pediatric experts.

Marguerite Korber, NP

Marguerite Korber, NP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Ty Higuchi, MD, PhD

Ty Higuchi, MD, PhD


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Vijaya Vemulakonda, MD

Vijaya Vemulakonda, MD

Urology - Pediatric, Urology

Brian Miller, MPAS

Brian Miller, MPAS

Physician Assistant