Discharge Instructions for Hypomagnesemia (Pediatric)

Your child has too little magnesium in the blood, a condition called hypomagnesemia. Magnesium is a component of bone. It’s needed for muscles, nerves, and enzymes to do their jobs. Magnesium is also needed for many hormones to work. When your child’s magnesium levels are low, his or her calcium levels may be low, too. Too little magnesium in the blood can lead to many symptoms and serious problems. These include seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and trouble breathing. If severe enough, the heart can stop beating altogether. Your child may have been given treatment for the condition in the hospital. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your child at home.

Home care

  • Give your child foods that contain magnesium. These include:

    • Spinach

    • Nuts

    • Soy products

    • Millet, wheat bran, wheat germ

    • Whole grain cereals (bran flakes, shredded wheat, oatmeal)

    • Dry beans

    • Brown rice

    • Avocado

    • Dried apricots

  • Give your child a magnesium supplement. Or, give a multivitamin with magnesium in it. Do this as directed by your child’s healthcare provider.

  • Have your child’s magnesium levels checked often. This is very important if your child is a taking a diuretic. This is a medicine that keeps the body from retaining water.

  • Tell the healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines your child takes. Some of them can decrease magnesium levels.

  • Give your child all medicines exactly as directed.

  • Learn to take your child’s pulse. Tell the healthcare provider if your child’s pulse rate is higher than 120 beats per minute.


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

  • Keep all follow-up appointments. Your child’s healthcare provider needs to watch your child’s condition closely. This is even more important if another medical problem is causing the hypomagnesemia.

When to call your child’s healthcare provider

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

  • Muscle twitching, spasms, or cramps

  • Fatigue

  • Confusion

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

  • Dizziness

  • Irregular or fast heartbeat or racing pulse (higher than 120 beats per minute)

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath