Discharge Instructions for Hypocalcemia (Pediatric)

Your child has been diagnosed with hypocalcemia. This means your child doesn’t have enough calcium in his or her blood. Calcium is a mineral that helps develop bones and teeth, controls heart rhythm, and allows muscles to contract. Causes of hypocalcemia include lack of calcium or vitamin D in your child’s diet, digestive system problems, gland problems, kidney or pancreas disease, and low magnesium levels. Here's what you need to know about home care.

Diet changes

  • Encourage your child to eat more dairy products.

    • Give your child more milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream (in moderation).

    • Read food labels. Buy products with added calcium, such as calcium fortified orange juice, soymilk, or ready-to-eat cereals.

  • Give your child a calcium supplement.

  • Give your child a vitamin D supplement. This is important for helping your child's body absorb the calcium. Several brands of multivitamins for children contain vitamin D.

  • Limit your child’s intake of soft drinks (soda pop). These drinks contain phosphates, which can interfere with your child’s ability to absorb calcium.

Other home care

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines your child is taking. This includes herbal preparations. Some common medicines can cause the body to lose calcium.

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

  • Encourage your child to play outdoors for at least 20 minutes per day. Exposure to the sun helps the body create vitamin D, which in turn helps the body absorb calcium.


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


When to call your child's healthcare provider

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

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Depression

  • Hallucinations

  • Muscle cramps, spasms, or twitching

  • Numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

  • Seizures

  • Irregular heartbeat