Your child has too much magnesium in his or her blood. This is called hypermagnesemia. This can happen if a person takes magnesium salts for kidney failure. It also can be caused by medicines that contain magnesium, such as laxatives. Babies can be born with this problem if their mothers took too much magnesium while pregnant. In the hospital, treatments are given to lower blood magnesium levels. Here’s what you need to know to care for your child at home.
Limit your child’s intake of all foods that have magnesium in them. These include the following:
Whole-grain cereals (bran flakes, shredded wheat, oatmeal)
Millet, wheat bran, wheat germ
Don’t give your child antacids or laxatives unless told to by the healthcare provider.
Don’t give your child an enema that has magnesium in it. If your child needs an enema, read the label carefully. Tell the healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, supplements, or herbal drugs your child takes. Some of them can increase magnesium levels.
Give your child all medicines exactly as directed.
Learn to take your child’s pulse. Tell the healthcare provider if your child’s pulse rate is slower than 60 beats per minute.
Make a follow-up appointment. Our staff will help.
Have your child’s magnesium levels checked as directed.
Keep all follow-up appointments. The healthcare provider needs to watch your child’s condition closely. This is very important if your child has another medical problem causing the hypermagnesemia.
Weakness or fatigue
Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
Irregular or slow heartbeat (pulse)
Fainting or loss of consciousness
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Confusion or changes in behavior