Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) | Kids Clinic Singapore

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) / Reflux

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

 

GERD in babies causes frequent vomiting, loss of appetite, intense crying episodes and an arched back.

GERD is a digestive condition where there is a backflow of the stomach’s contents back into the oesophagus. This occurs when the lower esophogeal sphincter (LES), or the ring of muscle between the oesophagus and stomach is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the backflow to develop.

It is common for young infants to have gastroesophogeal reflex (GER), also known as spitting up after feeding. This should not be confused with GERD, which is a more serious condition characterised by repeated vomiting.

What Causes GERD?

 

GERD is mostly caused by a poorly coordinated gastrointestinal tract, and most babies will outgrow this condition by the age of 1. In older children, the causes of GERD are similar to that of an adult’s. An older child also has a higher risk of GERD if he or she was diagnosed with GERD in the early years.

Other risk factors for developing GERD include obesity, overeating, consuming too much spicy or fried foods, drinking caffeine, carbonated drinks and certain medications.

Does My Baby or Child have GERD?

 

Look out for these signs of GERD in babies and children:

Babies

Older children

  • Frequent coughing
  • Regurgitation and re-swallowing of food
  • Complaining of a sour taste in the mouth
  • Has heartburn, bloatedness and abdominal pain

How do I Care for a Child with GERD?

 

In most cases, GERD is a manageable condition which can be eased with several lifestyle modifications:

Babies

  • Elevate the head of your baby’s crib to an angle of about 30degrees, but have to be careful that the parents do not just elevate
    the baby’s head, and thus the neck is flexed, as that would interfere with the breathing!
  • Prop your baby up for at least 30 minutes after feeding
  • Adopt a feeding pattern with frequent small feeds
  • Thicken your milk feeds with cereal (only do this with a doctor’s approval)

Older children

  • Elevate the head of your child’s bed
  • Ensure your child sits upright for 1 – 2 hours after feeding
  • Take small frequent meals instead of 3 larger meals
  • Ensure your child does not overeat
  • Restrict or limit food or drinks that can worsen the reflux condition (e.g. fried foods, spicy foods, carbonated drinks, caffeine)
  • Encourage your child to have an active and healthy lifestyle through exercising

If you notice any change in your baby’s general behaviour including eating habits or sleeping patterns that concern you, seek medical advice.

Read other health topics related to GERD in babies and young children:

About Kids Clinic

Because we believe that healthy children make happy parents. From newborns to toddlers, our experienced paediatricians are trained to meet a child’s health needs as they grow.

Our Kids Clinic branches are conveniently located in the heartlands for a fast and fuss-free visit.

A Singapore Medical Group Clinic

Incorporated in 2005, Singapore Medical Group (SMG) is a private specialist and primary healthcare provider with a network of more than 20 medical specialties. The Group is committed to its promise of providing patient centred medical care and experience to every individual. SMG has 35 clinics and a growing network of SMG Associates all across the island.

For same-day consults/ appointments, kindly walk in to our clinics directly.


For same-day consults/appointments, kindly walk in to our clinics directly.


For same-day consults/appointments, kindly walk in to our clinics directly.

For same-day consults/appointments, kindly walk in to our clinics directly.


For same-day consults/appointments, kindly walk in to our clinics directly.

For same-day consults/appointments, kindly walk in to our clinics directly.

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