Children are just as susceptible to reflux and airway problems as adults, if not more so. However with kids reflux can be difficult to diagnose because typical indicators aren’t present or always clear. This is medically called laryngopharyngeal reflux but often referred to as silent reflux.
Symptoms & Causes
In infants and young babies nothing specifically causes the problem other than simply an undeveloped ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus. This sphincter must work properly to keep stomach acids from backing up into the throat and sometimes nasal cavity and voice box. Unlike adult reflux (GERD) heartburn often is absent. Common symptoms caused by airway problems in babies are hoarseness, coughing, asthma, breaks in breathing, trouble eating and trouble gaining weight. See a doctor right away if your child is in pain or you think she or he may by suffering airway constriction or reflux.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Your child’s doctor will examine your son or daughter and may ask you questions about the symptoms. Based on both of these the doctors may recommend smaller and more frequent feedings, keeping your baby upright after a feeding, medications and sometimes surgery. See your child’s pediatrician and if needed see an Ears, Nose & Throat specialist for the best advice.