Recognizing acid reflux in children is not a difficult task for parents anymore. It is a common complaint registered by children as they experience great discomfort during this phase. Here are the symptoms and causes explaining as to why acid reflux prevails in children and what should be done to curb the frequency of the occurrence.
Mothers may be well aware of this term ‘acid reflux’. In children, acid reflux is a common trouble. Many a time you might have noted that babies bring all the contents of the stomach back into the esophagus and to the mouth. Vomiting the contents out is also a common phenomenon observed in children.
We consider and regard this condition as an innate tendency of infants and children to regress the food content that was ingested a while back. However this is not true. What we may refer to as tendency may be a sign of an underlying health condition. If we ignore the condition in its neonatal stages, the condition may aggravate to developing into Gastroesophageal Reflux Diseases (GERD).
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
- After your child is done with his meals, he may vomit all the content out. In this manner, you may understand that your child is suffering from an acid reflux.
- Your child experiences pain near the breastbone or pain in the chest after vomiting, which is another sign of your child suffering from acid reflux.
- Your child may complain of constantly feeling bloated. He may feel full and may suffer from gas and acidity issues.
- Sometimes, children may refuse to acknowledge that they are hungry. They altogether ignore hunger pangs and refuse to consume food even during meal time. They might just be too petrified of enduring the pain that they experience when an acid reflux strikes.
- If you have observed an erratic sleeping pattern of your child, or if your child is not getting enough sleep, the primary reason could be an acid reflux. An acid reflux, if occurring at night, could disturb your child’s sleep as he feels uncomfortable with the pain.
- Acid reflux can also direct towards the child’s inability to swallow well. The child may be of the view that the food gets stuck in their throat.
- If you have seen your child slouching excessively and think it is his multitasking attitude taking a toll, think again. Children who suffer from on and off acid reflux episodes are bound to slouch and drool. Their posture is not maintained as drooling and slouching presses the area where pain resides.
- Research serves testimony that acid reflux episodes when occurring intermittently can lead to asthma and bronchitis.
Causes of Acid Reflux
The gastrointestinal tract in children who are bothered by an acid reflux time and again, is due to the muscular structure that resides in between your esophagus and stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter, is not closed tightly, instead it is left slightly elevated. When the sphincter is not closed properly, it cannot keep the food content and acid in place, rather it brings about a change in the digestive tract which regurgitates the food and escalates the food content to the esophagus from the stomach. This in turn can also cause vomiting, affecting the child’s approach towards eating meals regularly.
- There are certain foods that may instigate a child’s system and force it to cause an acid reflux. Foods to avoid during an acid reflux include fried foods that have a higher content of oil, fatty foods such as potatoes should be avoided in excess. Fried and fatty foods can create an acid reflux due the high degree of calorie content in the food. Chocolates may also cause an acid reflux. However do not curb your child from eating chocolates, instead keep a check that he does not consume them in excess. Citrus fruits and juices must be avoided as they escalate and aggravate the condition further and cause acid reflux to increase. Junk foods such as pizza, jams and jellies may be tempting enough to lure your child, however it depends on how you lure your child to good health and a pain-free life.
- Set a timetable for your child, for he can consume his meals on time. Consuming meals at least 3 hours before bedtime is a must. This provides the system with enough time to digest the content. If possible make these changes for yourself as well, so that your child does not feel left out.
- Help your child understand what appropriate eating quantity is all about. If he binges once in a while, let him have his way. However, if this is a habit and your child is on the way to becoming obese, it would be better if you seize him at the right time.
- Ensure that your child develops healthy eating habits. Teach him that he needs to steadily chew his food morsel and gulping it down may cause him troubles digesting the food. Ask him to devote adequate time to eating his meals.
These were some of the methods that you could employ to make a difference to your child’s health. Acid reflux in children is not a grave trouble to encounter; however, it has the potency to become one. if ignored in the elementary stages.