Childr Health Information

Gatroesophageal (GE) Reflux

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about gastroesophageal reflux. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.

GE reflux is when formula or food in the stomach comes back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth with the stomach. Babies with reflux often spit up easily. Other symptoms include gagging, fussing, coughing, spitting up of blood or poor growth. Older children may complain of stomach pain. They can have pain or trouble when swallowing. It is not unusual to get upset by your baby’s reflux. Many infants improve by six to nine months of age. Most children outgrow reflux by 15-18 months of age. Treatment is to help lessen your child’s symptoms and prevent other problems. Be sure to call your doctor if your baby has more vomiting, choking or loses weight. Call the emergency squad (911) if your baby stops breathing or turns blue.

There are several ways to try to help your child. Your doctor may choose to use one or more of these.
1. Keep your baby on his or her back or side with the head of the bed or mattress raised about 30 degrees whenever possible and especially after feedings. (Ask your doctor or nurse for ideas on how to raise the head of the bed).
2. Do not position your baby on his or her stomach, unless directed by your physician. Stomach positioning will only be recommended if there is a greater risk from GE reflux than from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Positioning of your baby on his or her stomach is associated with an increased risk of SIDS. Wedges and other devices are sold at many stores for positioning related to SIDS. Only use those devices approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
3. Do not put your baby in an infant seat or an infant swing for 30 minutes after a meal. This will increase risk of reflux.
1. Burp your baby after each one or two ounces of formula.
2. Feed your baby smaller feedings every three hours rather than larger feedings every four to five hours.
3. Thicken your baby’s formula with two teaspoons of rice cereal per ounce of formula. Put the cereal in just before you are going to feed your baby. Thickened formula stays inside your baby’s stomach better than regular formula. If constipation becomes a problem, check with your doctor. You may need to use Evenflo® “crosscut” nipples. If you have to resort to adding rice cereal, let your pediatrician know.

There are three medications that may help your baby.
1. Antacids which help to settle the acid in your baby’s stomach
2. Medicines which help the stomach empty faster
3. Medicines that lower the amount of acid in the stomach. Your doctor will discuss with you which medicines your child may need.

GE reflux is rarely treated by surgery. Sometimes surgery is needed along with the above suggestions.

PDF: Child Health Information - GASTROESOPHAGEAL (GE) REFLUX

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1993, 1995, 2000, 2004

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1993, 1995, 2000, 2004


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