Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disorder that happens when stomach acid and contents flow back up into the esophagus. Living with this condition as an adult is at least to say inconvenient as it requires serious diet restrictions and lifestyle modifications yet taking care of a baby or a child who suffers from pediatric GERD is a whole different story.
Besides being irritable and unable to eat and sleep properly, kids who have GERD are often experiencing a series of less and more severe symptoms – vomiting, trouble swallowing, poor appetite, breathing problems, and more. As a parent, you’ll want to do whatever it takes to make the first years of your little one’s life as joyous as possible, and luckily, there are certain effective measures that you can take to achieve that.
In the following text, we will provide you with some useful tips on how to ease your child’s pediatric GERD -. from minor or major diet and lifestyle changes, to introducing new sleeping gear that can prevent the acid from reaching the food pipe. Therefore, stay with us if you are interested to learn more, and get that beautiful smile back on their faces again.
Changes In Diet
If you ever had to modify your diet for the sake of health, you surely know that it needs some time and patience to adapt to the new menu. However, things can be a bit trickier with kids since they usually don’t understand why they need to give up on certain munchies, sweets, and drinks. No matter what, you should remain determined to dismiss certain foods from their menu.
Anything from carbonated drinks, spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, citrus fruit and juices, and even ketchup can trigger pediatric GERD symptoms and should be therefore avoided. So, instead of pizza or burger, you can offer your child a variety of nutrient-dense veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, or any sort of greens. Instead of the fruits with high acidity, including melons, apples, pears, and bananas. Whole grains food like brown rice, whole bread cereals and bread, and oatmeal are highly recommended as well. When it comes to protein, eggs, beans, lentils, and fish will surely do the work.
After feeding an infant who suffers from GERD, make sure to keep your baby in the upright position 30 minutes after the meal. It is noted that rice cereal in the formula has a calming effect on the stomach as well.
No matter the kid’s age, it is recommended to eat smaller meals more often and to avoid eating at least 2-3 hours before sleep and before any sports activities.
Elevate The Head During Sleep
One of the most effective things that could work with both adults and children who suffer from GERD is sleeping at an incline. When you elevate your head and torso from the rest of the body, you are making the gravity work in your favor as the acids and stomach contents are unable to reach the esophagus that way.
There are multiple ways to do it, yet not all are equally practical and useful. At first thought, you might think that putting a couple of regular pillows on a pile could do the work, but this is rarely the case. They can drop down on the floor during the night as soon as your little ones change their sleeping position. Another asset that serves for GERD bed elevation is a wedge pillow. However, it doesn’t inline the whole body naturally and is also easy to slip.
If you are looking for a proper GERD bed elevation accessorize which will elevate the whole body and follow its natural line, you might consider buying an under mattress sleeping bed wedge. As its name suggests, it is installed under the mattress which makes it impossible to move during the night which is its first and main advantage. The mattress comes with an adjustable incline between 4 to 8 inches, and since the child doesn’t have any direct contact with it, any possibility of an allergic reaction will be excluded.
Reflux Guard under bed mattress wedges come in various sizes and are completely portable thanks to the retention strap that comes with it (sold separately). No matter in which position your child sleeps they will feel comfortable and well-supported, even if their favorite sleeping position is on the stomach. This special mattress with an incline for reflux comes with an easily washable and long-lasting cover while the mattress itself has a 10-year-warranty and comes with a flat shipping cost.
Keeping Your Child Comfortable
Besides making sure that the little one feels comfortable when sleeping on the mattress with an incline for reflux, it is important to adapt their clothes to the condition. They shouldn’t be wearing any tight-fitting clothes which could put pressure on the abdomen, so always pay attention to which clothes they are spending time in at the house and outside. Also, make sure that they are not bending down too often since that could trigger pediatric GERD symptoms.
Losing Weight Safely
Children in America are getting more obese each year due to various factors, and since obesity itself could be one of the main reasons why your child got GERD in the first place, it is crucial to help them lose some weight to keep the disease under control.
Make sure to consult with the doctor about the proper diet and encourage your child to enroll in some sports and activity classes. Taking time to cook delicious and nutritious food should be your first obligation as a parent.
Avoid Smoking Around Children with GERD
If you are a smoker, make sure to avoid smoking cigarettes around children who suffer from GERD. Cigarette smoke causes a drop in esophageal sphincter pressure besides directly irritating the throat, airways, and lungs of the child, so smoking in their presence can only make things worse.
This information is provided for informational purposes only. For diagnosis and treatment of your specific condition, always consult your doctor. Read the full disclaimer here.