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Discharge Instructions for Hypocalcemia (Child)

Your child has been diagnosed with hypocalcemia. This means your child doesn’t have enough calcium in their blood. Calcium is a mineral that helps develop bones and teeth. It also controls heart rhythm and allows muscles to contract. Causes of hypocalcemia include lack of calcium or vitamin D in your child’s diet, digestive system problems, or gland problems. Other possible causes are kidney or pancreas disease and low magnesium levels or high phosphate levels. Here's what you need to know about home care.

Diet changes

  • Encourage your child to eat more foods high in calcium.

    • Give your child more milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream (in moderation), kale, tofu, and broccoli.

    • Read food labels. Buy products with added calcium. These could include calcium-fortified orange juice, soy milk, or ready-to-eat cereals.

  • Give your child a calcium supplement as directed by their healthcare provider.

  • Give your child a vitamin D supplement as directed by their healthcare provider. This is important for helping your child's body absorb the calcium. Several brands of multivitamins for children contain vitamin D.

  • Limit how many soft drinks your child has. These drinks contain phosphates. Phosphates can interfere with your child’s ability to absorb calcium.

Other home care

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines your child is taking. This includes herbal supplements. Some common medicines can cause the body to lose calcium.

  • Encourage your child to get back to normal activities as directed by your child’s healthcare provider.

  • Encourage your child to play outdoors for at least 20 minutes per day. Exposure to the sun helps the body create vitamin D. This, in turn, helps the body absorb calcium. Don't spend a long time in the direct sun without sunscreen.

Follow-up

Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as directed.

When to call your child's healthcare provider

Call the provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Depression

  • Hallucinations

  • Confusion

  • Muscle cramps, spasms, or twitching

  • Numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

  • Seizures

  • Irregular heartbeat

Online Medical Reviewer: Amy Finke RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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