Children's book to explain kidney failure?

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Children's book to explain kidney failure?

Postby xXx Holz xXx » Fri May 09, 2008 9:52 pm

Hey guys, hope you are all keeping well!

I am currently doing some work in a primary school and you know what children are like, very inquisitive! My fistula blew on Monday and so my arm swelled up and was black and blue, I covered it with a plaster so the kids didn't have to see it, although they still asked questions! I was a bit taken a back and replied with I had an operation a while back and my arms a bit bruised, when asked what had happened to it (it was all i could think of on the spot).

Anyway... my question is, do you know of any books that explains kidney failure to young children?! not sure I'll end up telling them, its just a thought at the mo!?

Thanks in advance x
xXx Holz xXx
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Postby jenjen » Fri May 09, 2008 11:55 pm

hi Holz,

Some useful websites you might look at:

The NKF has really excellent leaflets about explaining stuff to kids, mainly tests etc but some useful info

also try:

Good diagrams and other stuff on this site

Hope this helps! I don't know of any specific books I'm afraid

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Postby bigbuzzard » Sat May 10, 2008 12:00 am

Hi Holz

I don't know about books for kids - though I'm in touch with some great nurses who deal with kids with kidney failure at the Evalina Hospital. I'll ask them.

If you feel like doing it, explaining kidney failure, dialysis and transplants in schools is a great thing to do. Sue Cansdale set up - she has published a book & DVD full of stories about transplants - both donors and recipients (her daughter was an organ donor after she died in a motorbike accident). She got funding last year on the charity 'Dragon's Den' on ITV to send copies of these to every school in the country. I always wondered whatever happened to these - I have visions of them stuck away on a shelf somewhere and never touched. Maybe there's a copy there - if not, I'm sure she'd send some more.

I've done a few music things in Primary schools - they've always been great fun. Though I've never spoken about kidney related stuff there. How people can do that job 5 days a week is beyond me, though! I don't think there can be anything quite as exhausting!

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Postby Lorna » Sat May 10, 2008 2:19 pm

I've been looking for a book for children for years!! I wanted one for Eirínn, who's now 9, when she was a lot younger, but I've yet to find anything. Like Jen says, the NKF produce quite a few leaflets aimed at kids, but I found they were really for kids with renal failure, explaining what would happen to them and I really wanted something more general, with all the basic facts about renal failure but written in a way that Eirínn would understand.
I've always found that honesty is definitely the best policy where children are concerned. Eirínn was almost 3 when I started dialysis (APD) and from the start we explained everything to her, in terms a 3 yr old would understand. She knew I had a tube in my tummy for special medicine to make me feel better. That was enough info for her at the time, or maybe too much as she insisted on showing EVERYONE my special medicine tube :lol:
Now she's that bit older, she knows all about kidney failure and transplants - probably more than the average non-renal patient adult does.
I did ask at the hospital if they had any books/info aimed at kids, and the transplant nurse gave me a flip chart type of book, which explained in very simple terms about renal failure, its causes, dialysis, diet, fluid and transplantation but to date that's all I've been able to find.
If I were you Holly, I would explain to the kids, in quite simple terms (depending on their age group) that you have kidney failure, and a bit about dialysis ie why and what it does. You don't need to go into too much detail, and like I say, the truth is the best way forward. If they know the facts, they're not frightened by it.
If anyone does know of any books, I'd love to know.

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Postby xXx Holz xXx » Sat May 10, 2008 2:35 pm

Thanks everyone!

Maybe there is a gap in the market Lorna, if you haven't be able to find one!?

I do reckon honesty is the best policy, obviously not going to say to much as I don't want to scare them (my next door neighbour visited me on dialysis age 7 and was absolutly petrified and didn't sleep for weeks) The age group is 6-7, just wanted some advice really and you've been great (as always) so thanks!

And if I take the plunge... I'll let you know how I get on

take care xxx
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Re: Children's book to explain kidney failure?

Postby Kidney Beanz Trust » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:45 pm

We have a NPO that supports children with life-threatening kidney disease in South Africa ( and we are in the process of developing a 16 book series written by our psychologist that deals with our children on the difficulties on kidney disease. We are in the illustration process and will be written very soon. Please keep a look out for this amazing series coming out soon. :D
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