Acidity or acid reflux is a result of an underdeveloped or poorly coordinated gastrointestinal tract. Children develop acidity for the same reason as adults.
According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a constrictive, ring-like muscle lying within the oesophagus and the stomach sometimes blocks food from flowing back into the oesophagus, causing acid reflux. The restriction of food and stomach acid entering the oesophagus, throat or mouth causes acidity.
Factors such as inadequate sleep, binge eating, inappropriate diet, high-protein diet, stress and excessive fried foods are some of the key contributors to acid reflux. These sometimes increase acid secretion and/or disrupt the defence barrier. Another common reason behind the cause of acid hyper-secretion in kids is a bacterium named H Pylori.
There are many effective treatments for acidity in kids. Parents must ensure that they give their child frequent but smaller meals throughout the day, and not the standard three meals a day. For school, make sure you pack foods that do not trigger acid reflux symptoms. These include foods containing citric acid, tomato products, carbonated beverages, sodas and chocolates. Do not give your child medications that contain aspirin and all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory ingredients.
When your child has an acidity problem, make sure he/she eats their meal slowly. Make your child stay upright until his stomach can settle. When suffering from acid reflux, make the head of their bed elevated or put an extra pillow while they sleep. This will prevent acid from flushing back up into the oesophagus.
The acid reflux problem is relatively less in children who are physically active on a daily basis. It is a parent’s responsibility to encourage their children to engage in some sports or physical activity for at least an hour every day. However, hold off any physical exercise or sports activity for at least an hour after meals to prevent acid reflux symptoms or flare-ups.
If children do not receive proper treatment for acid reflux, it may affect their behaviour and academic performance. They may find it difficult to concentrate on activities they engage in. Acid reflux can make them suffer from dehydration, fatigue, low blood sugar and malnutrition. Moreover, it may affect a child’s moral and he/she may have low tolerance and patience. This may make them act out with negative behaviour.
The symptoms of severe acid reflux in children include heartburn, excessive gas and abdominal pain. Among other symptoms are vomiting, coughing, regurgitation, chest pain, refusal to eat, weight loss, bad breath, sore throats, wheezing, ear infections, hoarseness, and sinus infections.
Severe acid reflux in children may lead to serious complications such as inflammation of the oesophagus and formation of scar tissue in the oesophagus. If you notice these symptoms in your kid, seek medical attention immediately. It is diagnosed based on reported symptoms and a physical examination. Severe acid reflux in children can be treated with a combination of home remedies, medications and dietary changes.
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