High Potassium in Babies

High potassium in infants is somewhat common, and many times nothing to worry about. If symptoms persist, it can be something that should be taken seriously. High potassium, or hyperkalemia, is a condition were potassium exceed normal levels, which can put an infant at risk and indicate underlying conditions.

Time Frame

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), hyperkalemia is common right after birth and usually in extremely premature infants. This is due to renal failure or the absence of oliguria, which is the decreased production of urine.


Normal Potassium Levels in Infants

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There may be no symptoms in infants of high potassium. According to healthline.com, some symptoms may include vomiting, slow and or abnormal heat rate, weak or absent pulse, and nausea. According to healthline.com, vomiting is common in babies, especially after having breast milk or formula. It can be a sign of potential illness. If a baby is vomiting for no reason, and symptoms do not go away after a few days, it is a good idea to contact a doctor.

Blood Testing

According to kidsgrowth.com, the most common cause of high potassium levels is due to the breakdown of red blood cells, which happens normally when blood is taken from a vein. Many times, high potassium is checked through a blood test. A repeat blood test shows the normal potassium reading for a patient.

Other Causes

Symptoms of Potassium Overdose

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High potassium in babies can be due to a medical condition. According to healthline.com, kidneys help to maintain normal potassium levels in the blood by filtration. They also excrete excess potassium through urine. Kidney disease can be one reason for high potassium levels in babies.

Medical Conditions

If a baby is exposed to high levels of potassium through supplements, high potassium levels are possible. According to healthline.com, there is the potential that high potassium levels can be the result of rare conditions such as Addison’s disease in infants. Major trauma can also cause high potassium levels in babies.