Fluid restrictions (1052)

Key points below

Fluids are an important part of everyone’s diet. Our bodies help us keep a fluid balance through thirst. If our fluids are low, we will feel thirsty. In some medical conditions our bodies can’t control fluid well. You may have to limit your child’s fluid intake.

What is a fluid?

A fluid is anything that flows, pours or melts at room temperature. Some examples are:

How much fluid can my child have?

The nurse, doctor or dietitian will tell you how much fluid your child can have in a 24 hour time period. The amount allowed should be spread out over the whole day. Your child should not drink too much at once. You will be given a daily milliliter (mL) or ounce amount to stay below. Read food labels to determine the number of ounces of fluid per container.

1 ounce = 30 mL

4 ounces = 120 mL = ½ cup

8 ounces = 240 mL = 1 cup

Think about your child’s normal fluid intake and estimate their current daily total. Then look at where to cut out fluids to stay below the new limit. Figure out how many ounces your glasses, cups and bowls hold so you can easily keep track of fluid intake. Be sure teachers and caregivers know how much fluid the child can have when in their care.

How can I limit feelings of thirst?

Have your child:


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information. This sheet was created to help you care for your child or family member. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.