- What is acid reflux (GERD)?
- What causes GERD and acid reflux in infants and children?
- What are the symptoms of GERD and acid reflux in infants and children?
- What are the complications and risk factors for GERD and acid reflux in infants and children?
- How is GERD diagnosed in infants and children?
- How is GERD and acid reflux treated in infants and children?
- FAQs you may have about GERD in infants and children
What are the symptoms of GERD and acid reflux in infants and children?
Reflux or GER, should not be a cause for concern. However, when this reflux is persistent and results in the below-mentioned symptoms and signs without showing signs of improvement, then it is advised that you make an appointment to see your doctor.
With infants, it can be more difficult to detect the symptoms of GERD as they cannot verbally communicate yet. There are however a number of visual cues that can be detected. Young children are more likely to communicate their discomfort or pain to you.
The signs and symptoms of GERD in infants are the following:
- Spitting up constantly and showing signs of discomfort when doing so.Showing signs of unusual irritability during or after eating, usually with uncontrollable crying
- Difficulty in gaining weight
- Refusing to eat or drink (breast milk in young infants) - especially in older babies as they associate feeding with the pain of the reflux
- Spitting up yellow or green fluid
- Spitting up material that looks like grounds of coffee or spitting up blood
- Beginning to spit up food at the age of six months or older
- Having blood in the stool
- Experiencing a difficulty in breathing or coughing and wheezing frequently
- Recurring bouts of pneumonia
The signs and symptoms of GERD in children are the following:
- Expressing feelings of chest or abdominal pain above the belly button (navel)
- Experiencing burning or pain in their chest, this is also known as heartburn
- Frequently coughing, wheezing or having hoarseness
- Excessive and uncomfortable belching
- Experiencing frequent nausea
- Feeling pain when lying down
- Experiencing discomfort or pain when swallowing food
- Tasting stomach acid in their throat
- Feeling as though food is getting stuck in their throat
Some of these symptoms can be treated easily with the help of a medical professional. The key is to diagnose the child as early as possible.
When to call a doctor
It is understandable that having a sick infant, or even a small child, can be an overwhelming situation to be in, especially for first time parents, therefore, should you have any medical concerns or wish to find out more about any aspect of your child’s health, then it is advised that you speak to your medical professional in order to put your mind at ease.
You should call your healthcare provider should your infant or child:
- Has reflux and is struggling to gain weight
- Shows signs similar to those of pneumonia or asthma (these include trouble breathing, coughing or wheezing)