Acid Reflux Symptoms Checklist: Infants and Young Children

Signs and symptoms of Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) may include one or several of the following:

PAIN:

Irritability, constant or sudden crying, "colic", back arching, abdominal pain, chest pain, heartburn, burning sensation in the esophagus. Rare: pain migrating to the shoulder/shoulder blade.

VOMITING:

Frequent spitting up or vomiting, frequent wet/sour burps, wet hiccups, Silent reflux: food coming part way up more than an hour after eating, spitting up-after six months of age. Rare: projectile vomiting, forceful vomiting through the nose and mouth.

EATING:__**

Extreme pickiness about foods or textures, food intolerances, refusing food, eating only a few bites despite hunger, Dream Feeding: eating only when sleepy or asleep, gagging, choking, poor weight gain, weight loss. Rare: excessive weight gain from constant feeding and comfort feeding.)

RESPIRATORY:

Constant runny nose, stuffy nose, frequent upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, bronchitis, croup, wheezing asthma, night cough, throat clearing, noisy or labored breathing/stidor, hoarse or deep voice. Rare: pneumonia, aspiration, apnea.

DENTAL:

Tooth enamel erosion, bad breath, excessive salivation/drooling.

SLEEP:

Poor sleep, frequent waking, frequent ear infections, resists lying down, cries when placed on back or flat surface, only sleeps when upright on shoulder, car seat, wedge.

BEHAVIOR:

Fussy, clingy, pain based aggression.

DEVELOPMENT:

Delayed motor milestones due to restricted positioning, excessive crying.

RARE:

Vocal cord nodules, laryngospasm, Barretts Esophagus, ulcers, esophagitis.

Gastroesophageal Reflux may be aggravated by:

Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance

Constipation

Food Allergies

Food Intolerance

Sleep Apnea

Hiatal Hernia

Gastroparisis-also called Delayed Gastric Emptying or Slow Motility

Asthma

Prematurity

LOOKS LIKE REFLUX BUT IT IS NOT:

It is important for you and your doctor to consider other diseases that have similar symptoms when diagnosing and treating acid reflux:

Pyloric Stenosis

Celiac Disease

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Reflux is very common and can be easy to miss. Untreated acid reflux can have serious long-term consequences. If you believe your child may have GER, talk to your doctor or a gastroenterologist. If you know your child has GER, contact PAGER Association for the support you need. PAGER Association is a parent-led, non profit organization providing information and support to parents of children with GER.

Copyright 2005, Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux (PAGER) Association

Republished with permission from PAGER, <www.reflux.org>.