Electrolytes are minerals in the blood, such as sodium and potassium. When they are not at the right levels, your child can feel very ill. Your child may feel weak or numb, have muscle spasms, or twitch. His or her heart may beat fast. Symptoms are different with each mineral. Too much is as bad as too little.
Minerals help keep the body working as it should. Vomiting, diarrhea, and fever can cause your child to lose minerals. A problem with the kidneys can tip a mineral out of balance. So can taking certain medicines.
Your doctor may do more tests. Your child's medicine and diet may be changed. If your child is low in one or more minerals, they may be given through a tube into a vein (IV). Your doctor may have your child take or drink special fluids or pills. If your child's kidneys are failing, his or her blood may be filtered. This is called dialysis. It can put the minerals back in balance.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter X658 in the search box to learn more about "Electrolyte Imbalance in Children: Care Instructions".
Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.