Kidney disease can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions. Acute kidney disease develops suddenly, lasts a short time, and can be serious with long-lasting consequences or may go away completely once the underlying cause has been treated. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) does not go away with treatment and tends to get worse over time. CKD eventually leads to kidney failure, described as end-stage kidney disease or ESRD when treated with a kidney transplant or blood-filtering treatments called dialysis.
Children with CKD or kidney failure face many challenges, which can include
- a negative self-image
- relationship problems
- behavior problems
- learning problems
- trouble concentrating
- delayed language skills development
- delayed motor skills development
Children with CKD may grow at a slower rate than their peers, and urinary incontinence—the loss of bladder control, which results in the accidental loss of urine—is common.
More information is provided in the NIDDK health topic, Caring for a Child with Kidney Disease.