The Situation of Heartburn In Children

At some point in a adult's life, they will go through a bout of heartburn. Especially is they eat a meal that is greasy or spicy. But it's terrible to hear that heartburn can inflict problems on children as well. Some estimates say that about two percent of kids younger than nine and five percent of kids younger than 17 suffer from occasional heartburn. It's even more shocking to learn that fifty percent of all babies have heartburn.

When it comes to heartburn in children, it can be hard for them to put into words exactly what they're going through and what they're feeling. The only way for parents to learn that their kids feel heartburn is to observe their behavior after the meal.

If a baby three months or younger is experiencing heartburn they will vomit out their meal or arch their back until they feel better. Children who are older will stop eating, become very cranky and irritable or will cough and have a sore throat.

A loose or weak muscle between the esophagus and the stomach is the cause of heartburn in children. With the muscle not functioning correctly, it allows the combination of food and stomach acid into the esophagus and burn it. Babies often have an insufficiently developed digestive tract and by the time they are five or six months old and their stomachs develop fully, the symptoms of heartburn usually disappear.

With older children, heartburn is usually caused by the kind, and quantity, of food they consume. Drinking soda, or pigging out on fatty or spicy meats will bring about heartburn just like it will in adults. What is even worse, chocolate is one of the worst offenders and has to be avoided, or eaten in very small quantities, to avoid heartburn.

When it comes to heartburn in children, try these steps to prevent it:

1) Have them eat smaller meal during the day instead of large meals at certain times.

2) Don't have them wear restrictive clothes that press on the chest and stomach.

3) If they eat close to bedtime, have them wait an hour before they go to bed.

4) Try to prevent them from playing around or being physical after a meal.

5) And don't give your child anything that you know will cause a problem for them.

Children who are obese are more prone to chronic heartburn flare-ups, losing a few pounds may correct that. Heartburn in children might also be the result of second-hand smoke. There is no better incentive to stop smoking than your children' health.

See a pediatrician if your child's symptoms continue, are becoming more frequent, or they are not eating. The doctor will diagnose the problem and determine the best course of action to take. Don't give the child any medication for the condition until you talk to their doctor.