Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease in children and adolescents

esophagus reflux english 2

Acid reflux is when the acid that is usually within the abdomen backs up into the food pipe, if it causes damage, it will require reflux treatment. The oesophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the abdomen.

A small amount of acid reflux is normal. however, when it happens often, it will cause issues with the oesophagus or lung infections (pneumonia). when acid reflux causes annoying symptoms or harm, reflux doctors call it “gastroesophageal reflux disease” or “GERD.” It will require reflux treatment.

Children with certain health problems have a higher risk of GERD. These include kids with down’s syndrome, brain disorder, or different issues with the brain or spinal cord. kids who are overweight are also more likely to have GERD.

The symptoms rely upon the child’s age.

Preschool kids with acid reflux might:

  • Vomit
  • Taste of acid within the mouth, or feel it within the throat
  • Do not wish to eat
  • Lose weight

Older kids or adolescents with acid reflux might:

  • Taste acid within the mouth, or feel it within the throat
  • Have an indigestion
  • Feel burning within the chest (known as “heartburn”)
  • Have trouble swallowing
  • Having symptoms like these once in a while is normal. If any of those symptoms happen over once per week, this can be a symptom of GERD & will require reflux treatment.
  • Yes. If you think that your kid might have acid reflux, discuss with his or her doctor before you try any reflux treatment. He or she will be able to counsel ways to help relieve symptoms. He or she may also do tests to figure out if your child’s symptoms are caused by reflux or something else.

    Take your kid to meet a doctor directly if he or she:

    • Has trouble swallowing, or feels like food gets “stuck” on the way down
    • Loses weight
    • Has chest pain
    • Chokes when he or she eats
    • Vomits blood


Yes. There are some things that may help with acid reflux, reckoning on your child’s age and symptoms. Your child’s doctor would possibly recommend that you:

  • Avoid giving your kid foods that make symptoms worse – These would possibly include chocolate, peppermint, and fatty foods.
  • Raise the head end of your child’s bed by six to eight inches – you’ll be able to do that by putting blocks of wood or rubber below two legs of the bed or a foam wedge below the mattress. If your child is a baby, don’t raise the top of their crib or bed and should sleep on their backs.
  • Help your kid to slim down if they’re overweight – ask your child’s doctor for recommendation on how to do this.
  • Keep your kid off from cigarette smoke
  • Have your kid avoid late meals – Lying down with a full abdomen will make reflux worse. try to set up meals for a minimum of two-three hours before your child’s bedtime.


Most times, acid reflux symptoms may be treated with medicines. There are three main kinds of medicines that may help: antacids, histamine blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. All of those medicines for reflux treatment work by reducing or acid. however, they each do this in a totally different way:

  • Antacids will relieve gentle symptoms; however, they work just for a short time. you’ll be able to purchase them without a prescription. it’s not safe to give over a few doses of antacids to kids younger than five. Older kids shouldn’t take antacids for more than a few days at a time.
  • Histamine blockers are strong and lasts longer than antacids. you’ll be able to also purchase most histamine blockers without a prescription.
  • Proton pump inhibitors are the foremost effective medicines in treating GERD. you’ll be able to purchase a number of these medicines without a prescription. however, there are different versions that your child’s doctor will prescribe.

Talk to your kid’s doctor before you provide your child any drugs for reflux.

If you child’s doctor recommends a medication, he or she’s going to sometimes recommend that your kid try the medication for a few weeks first. Then if symptoms don’t recover, the doctor would possibly recommend a different drug, or decide to do tests.

Sometimes acid reflux medicines are more cost-effective if you get them with a prescription. other times non-prescription medicines are more cost-effective.

A few kids need surgery to treat their GERD. this can be more likely in kids who have a problem with the brain or spinal cord (such as cerebral palsy), and if the GERD is causing issues like pneumonia.

Read more about: Acid reflux in adults & Food for GERD

Read more from WebMD & kids-health.

Dr. Harsh J Shah