I'm an NHS doctor – here’s why you should NEVER give your babies water | The Sun

WHILE we all know how important it is to stay hydrated, doctors have issued a warning that giving babies water can prove deadly.

NHS doctor and TikTok star Dr Karan Raj took to the social media app to dissuade parents and carers from committing the dangerous gaffe.

The surgeon stitched a video of someone who'd only just found out that giving little ones water was a big no-no.

"If you own a tiny human or are expecting a delivery of one soon – or are even acquainted with one -do not give them water to drink until they're six months old because it could be fatal," Dr Raj told his 5.1 million TikTok followers.

He explained that new-born babies' kidneys are about half the size – or less – of an adult's and they're not mature enough to correctly filter plain water.

"This leaves the baby susceptible to water intoxication," the doctor said.

Read more on babies’ health

Black women 4x more likely to die in childbirth, shock report finds

I’m sharing advice that saved my baby in the womb – all mums-to-be must know

Any excess water you feed your baby will back up into its bloodstream and dilute the salt content in the blood.

This is known as hyponatremia, meaning someone has excessively low sodium.

While this not might sound particularly alarming, hyponatremia can cause health complications in tiny babies.

“It can cause all sorts of havoc from brain swelling, seizures and even death,” Dr Raj said.

Most read in Health


Patients wait over an hour-and-a-half for ambulance 999 calls to be ANSWERED


Spoonful of popular spread in morning can reduce stress


I lost all four limbs after getting caught in the steam machine at a gig


Catching Covid can trigger killer new side effect MONTHS later, study finds

For this to happen to an adult, they would need to drink several litres of water in a short space of time.

"But for a baby, it just takes a little," the doctor continued.

"But don't worry – all their hydration needs can be met with breast milk or formula."

The stomach capacity of babies under six months old is also tiny, Dr Raj added.

"Their gastric emptying is slower so they become full very quickly," he explained.

If you allow a little one to drink water, they'll then be too full to drink milk, leading to energy and nutrient deficiency.

NHS guidance reiterates Dr Raj's advice. It advises parents to avoid giving fully breastfed babies water before they're six months old and rather to wait until they've started eating some solid foods.

"This is because the composition of breastmilk changes to meet the infant’s needs, including for water which is a component of breastmilk," the NHS states.

Breastfeeding mums might notice that their baby wants to be fed little and often when it gets hot – and the NHS advises mums to drink more fluids than usual during hot weather.

As for formula-fed babies under six months, the NHS says parents should not give them water routinely.

But they may need small quantities of additional water between feeds during hot weather. You should never give them tap water as it isn't sterile, it warned.

Instead, boil waiter first and let it cool down, before giving it to your tot. Bottled water should also be avoided as it may contain too much salt or sulphate.

Read More on The Sun

Sky users are realising there’s a free, easy way to keep getting TV during outages

The 7 things your HAIR can reveal about your health – and when to see a doctor

Once your baby reaches six months of age and starts eating solid food, you can give them some water in a small baby cup or an open-handled cup at mealtimes.

This doesn't need to be boiled.

Source: Read Full Article