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Your child has too little magnesium in the blood. This is called hypomagnesemia. Magnesium is a component of bone. It’s needed for muscles, nerves, and enzymes to do their jobs. Magnesium is also needed for many hormones to work. When your child’s magnesium levels are low, his or her calcium levels may be low, too. Too little magnesium in the blood can lead to many symptoms and serious problems. These include seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and difficulty breathing. If severe enough, the heart can stop beating altogether. Your child may have been given treatment for the condition in the hospital. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your child at home.
Give your child foods that contain magnesium. These include:
Millet, wheat bran, wheat germ
Whole grain cereals (bran flakes, shredded wheat, oatmeal)
Give your child a magnesium supplement. Or, give a multivitamin with magnesium in it. Do this as directed by your child’s doctor.
Have your child’s magnesium levels checked often. This is very important if your child is a taking a diuretic. This is a medication that keeps the body from retaining water.
Tell the doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications your child takes. Some of them can decrease magnesium levels.
Give your child all medications exactly as directed.
Learn to take your child’s pulse. Tell the doctor if your child’s pulse rate is higher than 120 beats per minute.
Make a follow-up appointment. Our staff will help.
Keep all follow-up appointments. Your child’s doctor needs to watch your child’s condition closely. This is even more important if another medical problem is causing the hypomagnesemia.
Call the doctor right away if your child has any of the following:
Muscle twitching, spasms, or cramps
Fainting or loss of consciousness
Irregular or fast heartbeat or racing pulse (higher than 120 beats per minute)
Shortness of breath