HealthCentral Interviews Tracy Davenport About Her New Book, “Making Life Better for a Child With Acid Reflux”
Could you talk about a couple of the best devices/products that have helped Ben?
There have been three very different types of products that have made Ben’s reflux more manageable over the last several years.
The first type of product is anything that helps him maintain an upright position. One of the reasons that reflux symptoms can be more intense at night is because when someone with reflux lies down their stomach acid can “lie down” in their esophagus. Since gravity can definitely be a refluxer’s friend, or enemy, depending on his or her body position, products that have helped keep Ben upright have made his symptoms much less severe. For example, when Ben was an infant, if we put him in a horizontal position he would have major discomfort, so we constantly carried him in a backpack, or baby sling, or set him up in a baby jogger when we needed a break from carrying him.
Another product that really helped Ben (and still helps) is CaraCream (or Chocobase). CaraCream was invented to allow a common reflux drug like Lansoprazole (Prevacid) to be taken in an oral suspension (liquid form). Having a reflux drug in a liquid form can be very important for babies and children, since they have difficulties swallowing pills. For us, the alternative to CaraCream was to open up the medicine capsules and pour the granules into a soft food like applesauce. However, between Ben’s food allergies and the fact that the granules were difficult for him to swallow, this method of taking the reflux drugs never worked very well for us. Using CaraCream to dissolve Ben’s medication made a huge difference in Ben’s night awakenings and therefore our quality of life. (CaraCream is still available through a research study at the University of Missouri if interested parents are willing to follow the study protocol – www.marci-kids.com).
And finally, I don’t know if there is physical law describing this phenomenon, but for some reason, things seem to taste better to our son when they are frozen. So, one simple product that has really helped us into toddler-hood is plastic “popsicle makers” which we get from the dollar store. We seem to be able to put really easily digestible food into frozen popsicles and have success with him not only eating them, but thinking he is getting a treat. For example, we mash up bananas and make “banana popsicles” and mix up his nutritional drink with some of his rice ice cream and make “creamsicles” and have actually been able to use the fresh fruit that Ben can have in these popsicles for his snack day at preschool, and all the kids seem really excited about them!
Published On: July 13, 2006