Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Dizziness - From Sudden or Prolonged Standing

Definition

  • Dizziness is a sensation of light-headedness or feeling faint

Call or Return 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

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Feeling dizzy or light headed
  • Feeling unsteady with slight loss of balance
  • Feeling "woozy" or not thinking clearly
  • May also have brief blurring of vision

Causes

  • 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

Dizziness Scale

  • 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

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • 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.
Standing:
  • 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.
Salt:
  • 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.
Fluids:
  • 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.
Rest:
  • Lie down with feet up for 1 hour.
  • Reason: This will increase blood flow to the brain.
Prevention:
  • 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.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Article 2497