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Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when stomach acids back up into the esophagus. This is the tube that takes food from the throat to the stomach. Reflux can cause pain and swelling in the esophagus.
Reflux can happen when the area between the lower end of the esophagus and the stomach does not close tightly. In babies, it usually happens because their digestive tracts are still growing. In older children, there may be other causes.
Reflux can cause babies to vomit, cry, and act fussy. They may have trouble breastfeeding or taking a bottle. Most of the time, reflux is not a sign of a serious problem. It often goes away by the end of a baby's first year.
Older children sometimes have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). They may have the same symptoms as adults. They may cough a lot. And they may have a burning feeling in the chest and throat. Symptoms may go away with care at home or medicines.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas MD - Gastroenterology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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