Your child's body takes nutrients
from food and converts them into energy. After your child's body has taken the
nutrients it needs, waste products are left behind in the bowel and in the blood.
The kidneys and urinary system keep
chemicals, such as potassium and sodium, and water in balance. They do this by removing
a type of waste called urea from the blood. Urea is made when protein foods such as
meat, poultry, and certain vegetables are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in
the bloodstream to the kidneys.
The kidneys are a pair of
purplish-brown organs. They are located below the ribs toward the middle of the back.
Remove liquid waste from the
blood in the form of urine
Keep the correct balance of
salts (electrolytes) and other substances in the blood
Make erythropoietin, a
hormone that helps red blood cells form
The kidneys remove urea from the
blood through tiny filtering units called nephrons. Each kidney has about 1 million
nephrons. They are in the medulla and the cortex. Each nephron is made up of a ball
formed of small blood capillaries (a glomerulus) and a small tube called a renal
Urea, water, and other waste
substances form into urine as it passes through the nephrons and down the renal tubules
of the kidney. Urine then collects in the calyces and renal pelvis and moves into the
ureter. From the ureter, it flows down into the bladder.
The kidneys also do other important