What Does Acid Reflux Feel Like to a Child?

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • I recently interviewed 11-year-old Bryson, a sixth grade student who lives with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) to see what reflux can feel like to a child.


    Question: How did you know you had GERD?


    Answer: I went to the doctor when I was little because I cried every time after I ate. I had constant heartburn and when I ate certain foods I also got the hiccups.



    Q: What does your reflux feel like now that you are 11 years old?


    A: It feels like there is a lump in my throat after I eat certain foods, like acidic foods. Or, I get heartburn and it feels like I am throwing up in my throat. Sometimes it just burns in my chest. Also, when I first get up in the morning, I don’t want to eat. I just don’t feel hungry.

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    Q: Does your reflux ever cause you any problems at school?


    A: Like, maybe after lunch I will feel the reflux and that will be distracting. Or if I do sit-ups it can hurt.



    Q: Does your reflux impact your social life (make a difference with your friends)?


    A: Not really. Most kids are accepting. It is not a big deal.



    Q: Has having reflux helped you in any way?


    A: Maybe it has helped my diet. It probably has helped me to not eat as many bad foods.  



    Q: What do you do to take care of your reflux?


    A: I take Tums and choose my foods smartly. I also take Nexium in the morning before I eat breakfast. That really helps.



    Q: What would you tell other kids who have it?


    A: Choose your foods carefully because when you get heartburn it is not very fun. And if you have reflux a lot, then you might have GERD.



    Q: Is there any thing else you would like tell me about GERD?


    A: It just really hurts when you get reflux, so don’t slack off on your medicine. 

Published On: February 14, 2014