Mrs Shaw, who recently became a mother, noticed that it was becoming difficult to feed her child because he was irritable whenever she provided him. When she shared her problem with her other friend Rita, a mother to a newborn, she got to know that she had been experiencing the same issue.
The next day, both of them decided to visit a child specialist. When they saw the doctor, the doctor told them that it is a prevalent problem that most newborn babies face, mainly because of heartburn.
Heartburn or gastric reflux can be experienced by adults but is a recent problem seen primarily in newborns and children between the ages of 10-17.
What Is Heartburn In Children?
A burning sensation in the chest/heart after consuming a spicy or hearty meal is often termed heartburn.
Heartburn is a feeling of irritation in the oesophagus. The oesophagus is the pipe that connects the stomach to the throat. The acid in the gut can lead to heartburn which leads to a burning sensation in the chest, upper belly, and below the breastbone.
Why Does It Occur?
The reasons for the occurrence of heartburn are different for different age groups.
In infants or newborn babies, it is mainly caused because their digestive system is immature, so it can facilitate indigestion of food in the stomach, leading to a burning sensation. When they grow up, the digestive tract becomes strong, and they might not face such problems.
Gastroesophageal reflux, commonly known as GER or acid reflux, is a condition in which the stomach acids go directly into the oesophagus. The oesophagus sphincter protects the oesophagus from the harmful acid and stops it from entering. But if the oesophagus sphincter relaxes too much, the acid goes directly into the oesophagus, causing heartburn.
What Are Its Symptoms?
The heartburn symptoms are a burning sensation below the breastbone, in the chest, or the throat.
GERD is a more severe form of GER
- Fussiness: If you notice that your child has suddenly started behaving very cranky or moody and you see that your child moves around the house being annoyed, your child is suffering from heartburn or gastric problems, which leads to these changes.
- Vomiting: Having excess acid irritation might result in vomiting. A vomit caused by heartburn might be slightly different from a normal vomit because you will notice an excessive amount of acid in it, and it might smell not very nice too.
- Crying when you feed your child: Heartburns can make your child irritable and cause a burning sensation. Providing your child will increase the sensation, and therefore they might not be wanting to eat anything. They often cry a lot.
- Constant coughing: When heartburn occurs in the throat or neck, your child might cough more than normal.
- Low appetite: If your baby has suddenly stopped eating and becomes irritated very easily, they might be experiencing heartburn.
Treatment For Heartburn In Children
The treatment for heartburn varies in children and depends on the severity of the problems.
Some heartburns can be cured by homemade recipes like eating honey, drinking more, or chewing medicinal herbs.
Secondly, giving your antacids may also help relieve sensation and might give some relief to your child.
Also, avoid giving your children chocolates and juices with citrus juice in it as it increases and sensation more and will make your child more fussy and irritable.
Another way to heal heartburn is by oral medications to reduce the burning sensation in the throat and neck. In case nothing works for your child, and they become more irritable and the pain increases, then it is best to consult a doctor as it might be a severe case too. Don’t wait for too long; consult your doctor immediately with proper medicine and care if serious problems can be stopped before occurring.
Heartburn is a small problem that can occur to anyone. Try not to panic and notice the symptoms well. If it is not cured at home, try to consult a doctor.
It’s a common problem seen in newborn babies where parents are advised to stay positive and calm when these things take place.