Water Intoxication & Babies - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/28/06

Water Intoxication & Babies

We know how important it is to drink lots of water, but did you know that too much water can trigger a deadly condition in infants.

It's called water intoxication and it can happen if a baby takes in more water than it can process.

"And what can happen, they actually develop a delusional effect. This water actually dilutes the amount of salt in their blood stream and it can lead to seizures. It is particularly dangerous if the baby is having vomiting or diarrhea in that setting you'd want to give Pedialite because Pedialite has salt in it and has sugar in it," said Dr. Dr. Richard Scarfone, a Pediatric Emergency Physician.  

Dr. Scarfone says infants younger than six months should only be given breast milk or formula no plain water. Beyond six months, he says along with breast milk or formula, babies can add four to six ounces of juice and up to eight ounces of water a day but again, no water if they have an upset stomach.

While symptoms of water intoxication can be subtle, they can also include a change in your baby's behavior or extreme fatigue or vomiting. So be sure to call your doctor if you suspect water intoxication.

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