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- Dizziness is a sensation of light-headedness or feeling faint
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling unsteady with slight loss of balance
- Feeling “woozy” or not thinking clearly
- May also have brief blurring of vision
- Dizziness is usually due to reduced blood flow to the brain. It can be triggered by these normal events:
- Standing too long in one place. Reason: causes pooling of blood in the legs.
- Standing up suddenly. Reason: causes sudden drop in blood pressure
- Mild: walks normal
- Moderate: interferes with normal activities such as playing, school or sports
- Severe: can’t stand, needs support to walk, feels like passing out now
- Standing up quickly is the most common cause of dizziness. This type of dizziness only lasts a short time. Getting out of bed is when it usually happens.
- Prolonged standing in one place is another common cause.
- Not drinking enough fluids or eating enough salt always makes it worse.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- In the mornings, sit up for a few minutes before you stand up.
- This will help your blood flow stay steady and adjust before you stand up.
- With prolonged standing, contract and relax your leg muscles. Reason: This helps pump the blood back to the heart.
- Sit down or lie down if you feel dizzy.
- Most people with this type of dizziness (due to standing) don’t get enough salt.
- Try to eat some salty foods (potato chips or pretzels) every day.
- Drink several glasses of fruit juice, other clear fluids or water.
- This will improve your child’s fluid status and blood sugar.
- If the weather is hot, make sure the fluids are cold.
- Lie down with feet up for 1 hour.
- Reason: This will increase blood flow to the brain.
- Extra water and salty foods during sports or hot weather
- Regular mealtimes and snacks
- Enough sleep and rest
What to Expect:
- With treatment, the dizziness usually goes away in 1 to 2 hours.
Call Your Doctor If
- After 2 hours of rest and fluids, still feels dizzy
- Your child passes out (faints)
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
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