OCT 13, 2018 05:58 PM PDT

Why you shouldn't give a baby water

Did you know that babies shouldn't drink water before they are at least six months old? That's because, while human adults are composed of 55-60% water, babies are made up of 75% water - and too much water can be a big problem. 

Though it's important to stay hydrated, everyone's kidneys have a limit to the amount of water they can ingest. If you consume too much water, the excess water will back up into your bloodstream, where it dilutes the salt in your blood. You need a certain amount of salt in your blood because if water dilutes the sodium to less than 0.4 ounces of sodium per gallon, you are at risk for a condition called hyponatremia. Hyponatremia causes your cells to swell up because they absorb the excess water; this can result in symptoms such as confusion, muscle spasms, and vomiting. If bad enough, this can even lead to water intoxication, which is when your brain cells swell. Water intoxication can result in seizures, brain damage, or even death, and roughly 200,000 Americans suffer from it every year. 

But don't fret, the chances of dying from water intoxication for an adult are very low. Babies, on the other hand, are much more vulnerable to water intoxication because their kidneys are so small and don't filter water well. Want to learn more about how to keep your baby safe? Watch the video!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Steaks Aren't the Only Things We Get From Cows
It’s no secret that cows are routinely slaughtered for beef, but what if we told you that only about 60% of the cow gets harvested for food? Fret not...
NOV 15, 2018
Videos
NOV 15, 2018
Viewing the Interactions Between Cellular Structures
Scientists have used powerful microscopy techniques to learn more about how the dynamics of a live cell....
NOV 22, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2018
Why Are Dandelion Seeds So Good at "Flying"?
The seeds of dandelions, pesky and irritating as they are, bear an extraordinary aerodynamic property that allows them to be carried far by the wind. In co...
DEC 04, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 04, 2018
Learn How NASA's Apollo 12 Mission Escaped Double Lightning Strikes
When NASA’s Apollo 12 mission was preparing to launch on November 14th, 1969, ominous storm clouds began swarming the launch pad. Regardless, weather...
DEC 05, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2018
SpaceX Launches International Space Station Resupply Mission
On Wednesday, Elon Musk-owned SpaceX launched its 20th rocket of 2018 to send a fresh batch of supplies to the International Space Station. The rocket blas...
DEC 09, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 09, 2018
Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is defined by the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-5), as a chronic disorder tha...
Loading Comments...