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Heartburn in Children

The feeling of a burning sensation around the chest area or behind the breastbone/ epigastrium is called Heartburn. Such a sensation is also commonly known as pyrosis or acid indigestion. The pain rises from the chest and spreads around neck, throat and even to the jaws. Heartburn in children is also a common phenomenon today. But heartburn is much more common in adults.

Such a disorder is an indication to serious diseases like gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Heartburn should not be neglected; a doctor’s visit is a must to prevent serious illness. As prevention is better than cure, heartburn in children should be prevented with a strict diet, firstly. Foods to be avoided are:

  • All kinds of fatty and fried food
  • Cheese, milk, chocolate
  • All dairy products
  • Citrus fruits and drinks

While the acid in the stomach backs up to the esophagus, heartburn is caused. Few symptoms of heartburn in children are chest pain, coughing, fussiness, poor eating, sore throat, vomiting.

To avoid heartburn in children small meals should be encouraged rather than few large meals for children. Children should be given five to six small meals a day. Instruct your child to have early dinner. Food which leads to heartburn should be avoided. Keep a track of your child’s weight too. Overweight children might have heartburn problems regularly.

There are few common medicines available in the market, which can cure heartburn in children. Such medicines are Pepto-Bismol and Tums. Doctors generally prescribe a proton pump inhibitor medicine such as Protonix or Previcid for a child in case of heartburn. This helps to produce less acid and helps to reduce heartburn in children.

Make sure that all kinds of junk food and drinks containing carbon-di-oxide (bubbles) should be completely avoided by your kid to stop heartburn. Overeating is also a reason for such attacks. By swallowing a soda pop, indigestion in children may be avoided. Hence, it is advisable that you contact your paediatrician immediately if your child has been affected with heartburn.