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Discharge Instructions for Hypokalemia (Pediatric)

Your child has been diagnosed with hypokalemia, which is a low level of potassium in the blood. Potassium helps with the functioning of nerve and muscle cells, including those in the heart. A low level of potassium in the blood can cause abnormal heart rhythms and even heart attack. Here's what you need to know about home care.

Diet Changes

  • Encourage your child to eat more of these potassium-rich foods:

    • Bananas

    • Milk

    • Oranges

    • Tomatoes 

    • Spinach

    • Dried fruit

    • Cantaloupe

    • Peas

    • Dry beans

    • Potatoes

    • Sweet potatoes

    • Avocados

  • Give your child a potassium supplement as directed by the doctor.

  • After strenuous exercise or any activity that causes your child to sweat a lot, give your child a drink that has high levels of potassium, like coconut water, orange juice, or low-sodium vegetable juices

  • Be sure to give your child food or drinks that contain potassium if he or she has diarrhea or vomiting.

  • Help your child avoid foods that are high in salt. Avoid canned and prepared foods that are high in salt.

Medication

  • Make sure your child takes all medications exactly as directed.

  • Tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the counter medications your child is taking. This includes herbal preparations.

Follow-Up

  • Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

  • Have your child’s potassium levels checked regularly.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments. Your child’s doctor needs to monitor your child’s condition closely.

 

When to Call Your Child's Doctor

Call the child’s doctor right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Fatigue or weakness

  • Rapid, irregular heartbeat

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain

  • Muscle cramps, spasms, or twitching

  • Paralysis

 

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