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Too much water can harm infants, toddlers
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Parents need to ensure young children stay cool and avoid dehydration, but too much water can be harmful to infants and toddlers, say U.S. experts.
Physicians at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia caution parents that too much water could be harmful for infants and toddlers and may even cause a dangerous and sometimes fatal condition called water intoxication.
"Water intoxication occurs when the body takes in more water than it can process, and because babies have immature kidneys they are particularly susceptible," said Dr. Colette Desrochers.
"The body requires a certain amount of sodium and sugar to function; too much water by itself dilutes a baby's normal sodium levels and can lead to seizures, coma, brain damage and death."
Desrochers advises that infants up to 6 months of age should only receive breast milk or formula and not be given plain water and that babies 6 months to age 1 should only be given formula or breast milk, 4 to 6 ounces of juice and up to 8 ounces of water per day.
In addition to water, toddlers and young children should receive a mix of beverages that include small amounts of sugar and sodium, such as juice or sports drinks as well as foods such as fruits and vegetables, yogurt and cheese, which have a high water content, according to Desrochers.[/b]