Causes for CKD in Children

woman with sick child

What Causes Kidney Disease in Children?

Chronic kidney disease in children is caused by a variety of ailments and health conditions that differ from adults.

Babies and Small Children

For infants and young children, chronic kidney disease usually happens as result of genetic conditions present during birth. Common causes include:
  • Birth defects
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Hereditary diseases like polycystic kidney disease
Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also be a sign of abnormalities within the urinary tract that can lead to the development of CKD.


As children enter the teen years, causes for renal failure change. For children over the age of 12, most common causes of CKD are:
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Lupus and other diseases that affect several organs.
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Urine blockage or reflux

Common Symptoms of CKD in Children

Symptoms of CKD typically manifest as the condition becomes more severe. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your child, speak with your child’s pediatricians as soon as possible:
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Frequent urination, urinary incontinence
  • Prolonged bedwetting after the age of 5
  • Chronic nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent intense headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Slower growth
Kidney disease can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions. If you have any concerns and questions about possible symptoms of CKD, connect with your child’s pediatricians soon as possible.