Non-fasting guidelines for children with metabolic disorders

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An information sheet for parents with children who have a metabolic condition. Fasting could be dangerous for children with a metabolic disorder.

Key points

  • Your child's health care team will tell you the longest time your child can go without eating or drinking depending on your child's metabolic condition.
  • Before agreeing to any test where your child is asked to go longer without eating or drinking than is recommended please contact their health care team.

This is an information sheet for patients with metabolic conditions.

The name of your child’s condition is ________________________________.

This metabolic condition affects the way your child's body handles _______________. Because of your child’s condition, your child should not go for longer than _____ hours without food or drink. Water does not count as a drink because it does not provide any calories.

Your child may be told to go longer than _____ hours without food or drink for a different test or procedure. Please contact your child’s health care team before agreeing. This may not be safe for your child.

We have also given you an emergency letter with more details.

  • Your child may need to see another physician or go to another hospital emergency room. Show your emergency letter to help the other physician understand what care your child needs.
  • Please carry this letter with you at all times in case you need it. Place it somewhere that is easy to find, such as your wallet or purse.
  • You can make as many copies of the emergency letter as you want to make sure that there is always one near your child.

Contact the metabolic doctor on call at any time of day or night if your child has any signs of:

  • vomiting (throwing up)
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • excessive sleepiness
  • irritability (crankiness)
  • confusion
  • eating or drinking less than usual




If your child has trouble breathing or prolonged seizures (convulsions), call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

Your child is followed by the hospital's genetic metabolics clinic service by Dr. ___________________________________.

Last updated: July 13th 2010