Water Intoxication: Too Much Of A Good Thing? (Giveaway)

Water IntoxicationDid you catch some of the warmth and sunshine we’ve had in the past couple of weeks? Wisconsin may be home of the “Frozen Tundra,” but eventually that ice melts and brings with it some gorgeous weather, perfect for being active outside (and maybe getting sweaty). As adults we know the importance of drinking water to stay hydrated, but what about for infants? Could something as simple as water be dangerous to little ones? The surprising answer is YES! Drinking too much water can put anyone, especially infants, at risk for water intoxication. This is when excess water leads to a low level of sodium in the body (hyponatremia), which in turn can cause swelling of the brain, seizures, and even death.

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends infants be fed only breast milk or formula until roughly six months of age, at which point solid foods are introduced. Even in the warmer months, breast milk or formula contains all the fluids and nutrients a baby will need. If you feel your baby is still thirsty, give additional formula or breast milk. Watering down formula can reduce the amount of nutrients a baby receives and negatively affect growth and development. Unless directed by a pediatrician, do not give extra water to an infant who has not started solid foods and NEVER dilute formula with extra water. Less than a year into my residency training I have unfortunately already seen an infant present with seizures from diluted formula, and the consequences can be deadly.

So when is okay to start giving a child water? A good time to do this is when solid foods are being introduced, around six months of age. As a general rule of thumb, at this age 2 to 4 ounces of water can be given in between meals if needed.

If you are concerned about dehydration in your infant or toddler, look for the following signs:

  • Decreased activity level or more sleepy
  • Sunken soft spot in head of infant
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinates less frequently (less than 3 diapers in a 24 hour period)
  • Few or no tears with crying


As always, if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician to discuss –we are always happy to answer questions.


Which Wisconsin season do you prefer? Frozen tundra or hot and humid?

Smiling Sun

Enter our summer giveaways:

Summer is here, along with camps, classes and all the other activities your child may be participating in. Juggling this busy schedule and keeping your family healthy, fit and safe may be a challenge, but we’re here to offer some resources to help!

From May 11 to August 30, we’ll be giving away one gift card per week. There are multiple ways you can enter, including visiting our Facebook page, leaving a comment on the blog and subscribing to our e-newsletter. Look for the big yellow box, like the one below, and follow the instructions to enter up to 7 times each week.

This giveaway is open to Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois residents only. Winner will be notified via email and asked to provide a mailing address to receive the prize; if the winner does not respond within 7 days, the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Great giveaway, thanks!

  • Hot and Humid if I had to choose between those 2 extremes. Fall is by far my favorite season!

  • I love the hot & humid but frozen tundra is OK if there is sunshine!!!!

  • I prefer the hot and humid. I love the longer days, sunshine, days at the pool. I also love being able to relax in an air conditioned home. Summer is the best.

  • We always look forward to the short season of summer, since we can get outside more, although my kids don’t care what the weather is like outside – they love to play outside in the snow too!

  • We enjoy both seasons as there are always things to do inside when the weather outside is cold, and outside when the weather is warm. My kids prefer the summer because of outdoor swimming.

  • I prefer the summer! We love all of the splash pads in town and activities available.

  • I love hot & humid! It’s much easier to get out and do things when you don’t have to spend a ton of time bundling up.

  • Good advice!

  • I definitely prefer hot and humid. I love being outside playing with the kids, taking care of the garden, and just relaxing in the hammock with a good book.

  • I prefer summer between these choices. My favorite time of year is Fall as it isn’t as hot and it isn’t quite frozen tundra!

  • I prefer summer, but better is just warm without the humidity!

  • Summer-so we can get outside and be active.

  • I didn’t even know that this was a thing thanks for the article. Also we have got to say we are lucky this summer hasn’t been terrible