How to Help Children Relieve Heartburn

How to Help Children Relieve Heartburn

Parents of infants can expect them to spit up, especially when liquid foods dominate their diet.

Most parents know they need to burp their infants after each meal to relieve gas. Feeding infants less food, but more frequently, also can help them better digest their meals.

But heartburn and acid reflux can keep many infants and adolescents from sleeping or performing at their best.

These tips can help quell their pain without medicine. If symptoms don’t subside, contact your child’s pediatrician.

Alter their diet

Too many hamburgers, chocolates, or Frappuccinos can do more than expand your child’s waistline. Peppermint, chocolate, and caffeine relax the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, letting acids enter it from the stomach. Spicy foods, and greasy foods like chips and hamburgers, stay in the stomach longer and shouldn’t be eaten daily.

Don’t sleep on it

Heartburn sufferers have more symptoms when they lie down shortly after eating. Have your child wait at least 1 hour before going to bed or laying down. Give him or her an extra pillow to put under their head when they sleep.

Monitor teen experimentation

Nicotine and alcoholic beverages aren’t safe for children of any age and they exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Address the issue before your adolescent harms himself or herself in other ways.

Let them play — outside

Researchers say excess belly fat increases the risk of heartburn and acid reflux because the pressure on the stomach forces fluid up the esophagus. If your adolescent is overweight, daily physical activity can help her or him lose weight.

Dress for comfort

Skinny jeans and other tight-fitting clothing may be in fashion, but they can put pressure on the abdomen. Encourage your adolescents to wear clothing in which they can move freely.

Let them chew gum

Chewing gum helps produce saliva, which helps decrease the amount of acid in your stomach.

Sources: Dr. Casey Pruitt of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri; WebMD, Dr. Anne R. Edwards; of Park Nicollet in Brooklyn Center, MN.