Discharge Instructions for Hypercalcemia (Child)

Your child has been diagnosed with hypercalcemia. This means they have too much calcium in the blood. Calcium is a mineral that helps develop bones and teeth, controls heart rhythm, and allows muscles to contract. Hypercalcemia is often the result of problems elsewhere in the body. These can include overactive glands, unhealthy bones, long-term bed rest, and certain tumors or cancers.

While in the hospital, your child may have been treated with medicine for hypercalcemia. Keep giving your child all medicines as prescribed, unless the healthcare provider told you otherwise.

Here's what you need to know about home care.

Diet and fluids

  • Don’t limit how much salt your child eats.

  • Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid your child should drink. Most children with hypercalcemia need to drink 2 quarts to 1 gallon (2 to 4 liters) of fluid every day. This depends on their size and age. An infant or toddler needs much less.

  • Keep track of how much fluid your child drinks:

    • Fill a jug with water and keep it in your refrigerator. A washed and rinsed milk jug is a good option.

    • Encourage your child to drink the water in the jug during the course of the day. Do this after checking with your child’s healthcare provider to confirm the correct amount for the size of your child.

  • Limit how much dairy your child eats:

    • Limit the amount of milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream to 1 or 2 small servings per day.

    • Read food labels. Don’t buy dairy or other products with added calcium, such as orange juice or soy milk.

Other home care

  • Encourage activity. If your child’s hypercalcemia was caused by long-term bed rest, try to increase their activity.

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

  • Don't give your child antacid medicine. Many of these contain calcium.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines your child is taking, including over-the-counter or herbal medicine.

  • Make sure your child takes their medicine exactly as directed.

Follow-up

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

  • Keep all appointments for lab work and follow-up. Your child’s healthcare provider needs to monitor your child’s condition closely.

When to call your child's healthcare provider

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

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Trouble urinating, pain when urinating, or blood in the urine

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Increased thirst

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Depression

  • Confusion

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