Discharge Instructions for Hyperkalemia (Pediatric)

Your child has been diagnosed with hyperkalemia, which is a high level of potassium in the blood. Potassium helps with the function of nerve and muscle cells, including those in the heart. A high level of potassium in the blood can cause abnormal heart rhythms and inability to breathe, and it can even cause the heart to stop beating. Here's what you need to know about home care.

Diet changes

Your child should eat less of these potassium-rich foods:

  • Bananas (your child should avoid bananas completely)

  • Apricots

  • Oranges and orange juices

  • Dried fruit

  • Tomatoes

  • Spinach

  • Melons 

  • Peas

  • Dry beans

  • Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Avocados

  • Milk

  • Yogurt

Other home care

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines your child is taking. Several medicines can increase potassium levels.

  • Be sure to give your child all medicines exactly as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • Learn to take your child’s pulse. If your child’s pulse is less than 60 beats per minute or irregular, call your child’s provider. If your child is an infant, report any pulse less than 80 beats per minute.


  • Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

  • Have your child’s potassium levels checked regularly.

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

When to call your child's healthcare provider

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

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Slow, irregular heartbeat

  • Fainting

  • Dizziness

  • Lightheadedness

  • Confusion