Birth Abnormalities & Blockages

Kidneys primary job

The main job of the kidneys is to maintain homeostasis which is an internal balance of water and chemicals by filtering the blood.  

the urinary tract

Many children who are diagnosed with kidney disease are born with a problem in their urinary tract. The urinary tract contains the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra.

Symptoms can include frequent, painful urination and urine that appears cloudy or bloody. If the UTI involves the kidneys, fever and back pain may also occur.

Urethra blockage

Some children are born with a condition causing the urethra to narrow or become blocked preventing, urine to-leave the body. In some cases, surgery will be required, with long-term treatments that may include additional surgery and medication.


An infant or child develops a urinary tract infection when bacteria gets into the urinary tract. When only the bladder is involved, the condition is known as cystitis.

However, when the kidneys are involved, UTI is known as pyelonephritis, a more serious infection that leads to scarring and permanent kidney damage.

Fetal Hydrophones

In pregnancy, if you are diagnosed with Fetal hydronephrosis, your doctor will check the unborn baby often to see how the condition progresses.

Urinary Tract Contains:

2 Kidneys, 2 Ureters, a Bladder and a Urethra

For most parents, kidneys are not top-of-mind when their child isn't feeling well.  However, it is important to learn the symptoms and signs as they can be mistaken or dismissed as nothing. 

UTI in an infant or toddler

It can be difficult to diagnose UTI  in infants and toddlers. Sometimes an infant with a UTI will throw up or have loose bowel movements.  Youngsters may experience abdominal pain, run low-grade fevers or even wet the bed.

To diagnose a urinary tract infection, a urine sample is taken from the child to check for the growth of bacteria.

If the child is prescribed antibiotics, relief usually begins within 12 to 24 hours. If the UTI affects the kidneys, hospitalization and intravenous medications may be necessary. Your doctor will be able to decide what course of treatment will be best for your child.

Consult your doctor if your child exhibits any of the following:

  • Unexplained low-grade fever
  • Swelling around the eyes, feet, and ankles
  • Pale skin or “washed out” appearance
  • Lower back pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Frequent severe headaches
  • Weakness, excessive tiredness or loss of energy

It is easy for a parent to think a child is not suffering kidney problems. Talk to your doctor if your child exhibits symptoms.

  • In newborns and infants; poor eating habits, vomiting or chronic diarrhea
  • In older children; poor appetite
  • Slow growth or weight gain
  • In children 5 years or older; frequent bed-wetting
  • Frequent severe headaches
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Urine that is cloudy, bloody or dark brown
  • Weak urinary stream, dribbling or fanning of urine stream
  • Unpleasant-smelling urine
  • Infants; crying during urination
  • In older children; painful urination

Recommended Topics

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Juvenile Diabetes

Having juvenile diabetes puts one at a higher probability rate of developing kidney disease. 

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Glomerulonephritis is inflammation found in the tiny filters within the kidney.

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Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is when the kidneys blood vessels become inflamed and damaged.


The Kidney-Friendly Ultimate Grocery List with brand names you know & love.

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The Kidney-Friendly Ultimate Grocery List with brand names you know and love is helpful when food shopping. 

We've included a couple of kidney-friendly recipes that are easy to make and tasty and most importantly kidney-friendly!