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What Causes Heartburn in Children?

Heartburn which is also recognized as a burning sensation within the chest is most commonly experienced by adults. This health condition is caused by numerous factors such as overeating, an imbalanced diet, beverages that are acidic, position during sleeping, drugs or medical treatments, toothpaste and a lot more. The symptom is a result or product of the flowing back of the acid in the stomach to the esophagus. These acids can reach the lower part of the esophagus if the valve which is called the esophageal sphincter which hinders the passage of such acids will open, relax or malfunction.

what causes heartburn in childrenIt’s not only adults who experience this kind of health problem but infants, children and adolescents as well. This article aims to focus on what causes heartburn in children.

Yes, children can experience heartburn and can you just imagine how painful it would be for them to feel that?

So to help your child or children deal with this symptom, first of all, you have to determine what the factors that may cause such condition are.

The primary cause of heartburn in children is acid reflux. This is most common to children who are below 18 months old causing them to vomit.

This is a disease where the stomach acid wants to flow back to the esophagus. Infants, especially the new born ones don’t have a digestive system that is not completely grown that is why they can be also prone to acid reflux for the gastric acids and foods cannot be perfectly digested. Food that the children take in should also be keenly watched by the parents for they can trigger acid reflux as well as fatigue.

Acid reflux symptoms in children may include hiccups, gagging, stomach ache, choking, sour taste in the mouth, belching and coughing. Bad breath, chest pain, slow gaining and losing of weight, sinus infections, eating less even they are hungry, hoarseness, ear infections, respiratory problems, poor quality of sleep and frequent having of runny nose are also some of the symptoms of acid reflux.

It is not easy sometimes to diagnose heartburn among children for they cannot clearly say, show or express the symptoms compared to adults. They might mistake heartburn to stomachache so it is better to seek for the physician’s advice particularly pediatrician. It is expected for the physician to do some test and physical examination to the child with symptoms of acid reflux. These tests may consist of lab test, upper endoscopy, gastric emptying study and esophageal pH monitoring.

To naturally deal with the heartburn in children, avoid giving them foods that are rich in caffeine and acid. Do not let them eat spicy, fatty, and fried foods. Limit the food that they take in especially at night for their digestive system do not function as adults’ do. Give them food to eat quite a few hours before they will take a nap or sleep to avoid any chest pains.

Keep your child’s head elevated while he or she sleeps especially if you can see symptoms. Do not let your child wear fitted clothes especially on the stomach area in order not to force or squeeze their stomach.

Always see to it that your child is drinking plenty of water daily for water can help reduce the effect of the acid in the stomach. Remember not to let your child drink plenty of water at the time he or she experiences heartburn for this will just encourage the flowing back of the food and liquid from the stomach.

Milk is a common beverage for children. Milk has slight alkaline property which can help counteract with the acid in the stomach but not all milk are advisable for a child with heartburn. Skim milk is highly recommended but in sensible amounts only. Milk also contains protein and calcium that can encourage the increase of stomach acids.