Saturday, May 17, 2008

Too much water raises seizure risk in babies

I had heard a few years ago about a woman who died from drinking too much water and not peeing for a contest called hold your wee for a Wii. It was a sad case, but rare. Now there's a news story out about babies having seizures from drinking too much water, they call it water intoxication. Who knew there was such a thing.

Pediatricians at Hopkins Children's see at least three or four such cases every summer, and while the seizures are benign and have no lasting effect on a child's health, they are quite dramatic and completely preventable, doctors say.

"Babies need extra fluids in the hot weather, but straight water is not one of them," says pediatrician Allen Walker, M.D., head of the Emergency Department at Hopkins Children's. "A parent's natural instinct is to give the baby water to prevent dehydration, but too much water can disrupt the delicate balance in a baby's body, leading to water intoxication. Before you know it, the baby is seizing."

What a scary thing, I can't imagine. I've never done a report on this phenomenon, but it would be pretty interesting I think. With summertime just about here, it seems like it would be good for parents of infants to read this report. You can read the article here.
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