UK heatwave: Expert warns not to give newborn babies water in the hot weather

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Newborn babies should not be given water. [Photo: Getty]

The UK is in the throes of an almighty heatwave, with temperatures set to rise to heights of 39C tomorrow.

In the summer frenzy, parents of babies may be worrying about their infants’ health – and wondering whether it might be necessary to give little ones water to help them cope in the extreme weather.

But, while it’s important for adults and children to keep hydrated, you mustn’t ever give newborn babies water, an expert has warned.

Consuming even the tiniest amount of water puts the health of newborn babies at risk.

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While adults are made up of 55-60% water, the average baby is roughly 75% water. This means even the smallest amount of H20 would affect the balance of water in a baby’s body.

This can overload the kidneys, leading to a dangerous condition called hyponatremia.

Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click, explains to Yahoo UK: “Kidneys are also too immature in infants under six and water can cause intoxication as a result of an imbalance in electrolytes such as sodium.

“This can cause complications such as swelling of the brain, seizures and, in extreme cases, death.”

Kanani adds that giving babies water can also affect their nutrition.

“Giving water to an infant can affect the baby’s ability to receive adequate nourishment.

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“Their stomachs are so tiny and can fill up easily with water, making it difficult for them to get the nourishment they require.”

A video from Tech Insider explains why even the tiniest amount of water can put babies at risk of water intoxication.

When babies are six months or older, you can start to introduce water into their diet, the NHS website advice.

“Introduce your baby to drinking from a cup or beaker from around 6 months and offer sips of water with meals,” advises the health body.

For more information on babies’ health, consult to the NHS pregnancy and baby guide.