HealthCentral talked to Tracy about managing infant acid reflux, latest research and product recommendations. Here is part 3 of our interview.
How can parents stay up to date with the latest research?
Much of what you need to know about acid reflux could be learned from your physician. But let’s face it, doctors have a limited amount of time to talk to you during an appointment, so you may have to do some of your own homework to learn about reflux. Here are three things we suggest:
1) Ask those who have reflux. Neither my husband or I have reflux, but we have family members and friends who do. We asked them fairly basic questions, such as, “What does an episode feel like?” “What can you do to make yourself feel better when you have reflux?” “What foods make your reflux worse?” “Does your reflux ever wake you up at night?” The answers to these questions can be really enlightening regarding your infant or child.
2) Search the Internet. There are some excellent Web sites out there that offer support and information for parents and children.
Our favorite picks:
3) If you are pretty far along the learning curve, try setting up a Google Alert or another alert to get a message when something new related to reflux is presented on the Web.
Do you have any recommendations on how to talk about acid reflux with your child, if it becomes a chronic condition?
One day just before our son’s third birthday, he was having one of the worst behavior days ever. He was absolutely miserable. At the end of the day, he said, “Mom, I am sorry I was so bad today – my reflux was really bothering me.” That was the beginning of our conversation with him about his reflux.
Now, sometimes he tells me that “It feels like my heart is catching on fire” or “I have the icky balls in my throat again.” We try to acknowledge it and offer what comfort we can.
I do think it is important not to let the condition define the child, and yet as with any chronic condition, it is a part of them and to deny that aspect of who they are is not fair.
I think in the end, the way you talk to your child about acid reflux has to mirror the overall direction of your parenting. For us, we just want Ben to be as kind as he can be to himself and others and eventually be able to care for himself completely. We hope we are well on our way.
Learn more about Tracy's second edition of her book, Making Life Better for a Child With Acid Reflux. This edition brings in the voices of six medical experts who provide up-to-date knowledge about acid reflux in babies and children.
Visit the acid reflux message board.
Published On: May 12, 2006