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  • There is a time in every person's life

  • when drinking water is deadly.

  • Even as much as a few ounces is enough to kill.

  • The average healthy adult is made up of 55 to 60% water.

  • The average baby, on the other hand, is roughly 75% water.

  • And that difference is why babies shouldn't drink water

  • before they're at least six months old.

  • Not from the tap or a well or a spring.

  • Plain water is just plain off limits.

  • You see, everyone's kidneys have a limit

  • to how much water they can handle.

  • Break that limit, and the excess water

  • will back up into your bloodstream,

  • where it dilutes the salt, or sodium, in your blood.

  • Once your blood dips below 0.4 ounces of sodium per gallon,

  • you're at risk of a condition called Hyponatremia.

  • It happens when your cells try to return sodium levels

  • to normal by absorbing the extra water

  • and swell up like a water balloon in the process,

  • causing complications like confusion,

  • vomiting and muscle spasms.

  • Hyponatremia is common in marathon runners

  • who drink too much too fast during a race

  • without also providing enough sodium

  • to balance out their blood.

  • And if you keep drinking, that excess water

  • will eventually reach the cells in your brain.

  • By this point, you have a dangerous case

  • of water intoxication, which affects

  • roughly 200,000 Americans each year.

  • It occurs when your brain cells swell,

  • which builds up pressure inside your skull

  • that can lead to seizures, brain damage,

  • and, in severe cases, death.

  • But don't worry, dying from water intoxication

  • is extremely hard for a fully-grown human.

  • An adult would have to drink 2.5 to 5 gallons

  • every few hours to reach that point.

  • But for newborns, it's a different story.

  • Their kidneys are about half the size of an adult's,

  • so they can't hold much water to begin with.

  • And it takes just a few ounces to cause problems.

  • On top of that, their kidneys aren't developed enough yet

  • to properly filter water, so any water

  • that enters their body ends up in the circulatory system,

  • where it dilutes their blood

  • and increases their water content by 7 to 8%.

  • But it's not just drinking straight H2O

  • that poses a threat.

  • In fact, most cases of water intoxication in infants

  • don't even involve a glass of water.

  • A common mistake is when people dilute baby formula

  • too much by accident, or when parents

  • dunk their infants up and down in a swimming pool,

  • and in the process the infant gulps in too much water.

  • It's important that if your baby

  • is showing signs of water intoxication

  • that you take them to the hospital immediately,

  • where a doctor will likely provide some form of fluids

  • like intravenous saline solution

  • to bring the infant's sodium levels up to normal.

There is a time in every person's life

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B2 H-INT US water sodium excess water blood adult swell

Why Babies Can't Drink Water

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    Evangeline   posted on 2018/10/03
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