Learning About Kidney Disease in Children

Renal failure is less common in children than adults and is very different from renal failure in adults. The most common causes of kidney failure in children are problems with the structure of the kidney, bladder, or anywhere along the urinary tract. Most children are born with these problems.

In children over the age of 12, glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) is the most frequent cause of kidney failure. Glomerulonephritis can also occur in younger children under 12. Not all kinds of glomerulonephritis lead to kidney failure, but some do. One type of glomerulonephritis is focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which can lead to renal failure by causing scarring of the kidneys.

In contrast to adults, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus are extremely rare causes of kidney failure in children. High blood pressure does not usually cause kidney failure in children, but often is caused by the renal failure.

To learn more, visit the following sites:


American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP)

Dealing with Kidney Disease in Children
This is the second in a two-part series by Judy Taylor, MPH, BSN, RN, CNN both of which originally appeared in aakpRENALIFE.

Dealing with Kidney Disease in Children (Part 1)
Dealing with Kidney Disease in Children (Part 2)

For a listing of other articles related to kidney disease in children click on the following link:


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Kidney Disease in Children is a series of fact sheets developed by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health. These fact sheets introduce the major causes of kidney disease and kidney failure in children, provide detailed explanations of the treatment options, and discuss complications of kidney disease and its treatment.

Overview of Kidney Diseases in Children
Describes the major causes of kidney disease and kidney failure in children. Lists the risk factors for kidney disease and explains the difference between acute kidney disease and chronic kidney disease

Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome
Describes the symptoms of and treatments for nephrotic syndrome in children. Includes a discussion of minimal change disease and steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure in Children
Describes the treatment options—transplantation, peritoneal dialysis, and hemodialysis—for kidney failure.

Growth Failure in Children With Kidney Disease
Explains the problems that can be caused by kidney disease and describes the therapies available to minimize those problems.

School and Family Problems of Children With Kidney Failure
Describes psychosocial problems that can accompany kidney disease, including issues of fitting in at school, financial demands of treatment, and family stresses, and the role of the social worker and other members of the health care team who are available to help families handle these problems.


The National Kidney Foundation

Health Facts for Teens with Chronic Kidney Disease

A booklet about what teens should know about lipids.


The Nemours Foundation

This Web site was created by The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media and features information on kidney disease in both English and Spanish and has separate sections for parents, teens and for children at different age levels. Not all of the information is about kidney diease.

Home Page: http://www.kidshealth.org/
CKD for Kids: http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/kidneys.html
CKD for Teens: http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/urinary/kidney.html
CKD for Parents: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/medical/kidney/chronic_kidney_disease.html


Fun Links:

Animated educational site features heath section with information on diabetes, flu, how the body works and other information.


The Starbright Foundation brings together programs for learning and entertainment for the chronically ill child and teen and their families.



Last updated on: September 22, 2014