Heartburn in Children: What to Know about This Condition

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Some diseases, such as fever and colds, are common in children. But when your kids complain of chest pain and tummy ache, something may be definitely wrong. Some people may think that only adults can experience heartburn, but the truth is that it can also affect children. Heartburn is known to create a burning sensation often felt behind the breastbone, chest, throat, and neck. It is related to the esophagus and stomach but has nothing to do with the heart.

Common Symptoms of Heartburn Kids and Infants

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, more popularly known as GERD, refers to the digestive disorder affecting the muscle ring located between the stomach and esophagus, and it can cause heartburn in kids and infants. The common symptoms for GERD are:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing
  • Arching of the back during feeding time
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fussiness
  • Poor eating
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Vomiting

It is vital to consult with a pediatrician to confirm these symptoms because they can also be present in other health conditions aside from GERD.

The feeling of discomfort is also another sign that an infant or kid is experiencing heartburn. Keep in mind that even sores can develop in the esophagus. When not treated promptly, GERD can cause the esophagus to narrow down, formation of abnormal cells in the esophagus lining, and breathing problems.

Common Causes and Triggers of Heartburn in Children

Today, many kids love eating spicy foods, which is why you may hear them always asking for hot popcorn, hot chips, and even foods with hot sauces. However, all these food items can trigger the condition in question. Likewise, other foods and items that can cause GERD include the following:

  • Gum and peppermint
  • Fried foods like French fries and chicken nuggets
  • Acidic foods and drinks such as tomato sauce and orange juice
  • Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other caffeinated drinks
  • Doughnuts and junk foods
  • Some medicines like Ibuprofen

What to Do When Children Complain of Heartburn

It is important to remember that prevention is always better than treatment, especially when it comes to the overall well-being of your young children. Here are some reminders to help your kids remain free from heartburns:

  • Reduce how often your kids eat foods that can trigger heartburn.
  • Choose to give them more fruits and veggies such as peaches and spinach in at least 1-2 per meal to balance out the acids.
  • Encourage your children to eat smaller meals in a day and make sure they don’t skip a meal.
  • Ensure that they maintain a physical and active lifestyle and consume more water to lower stress that can also trigger heartburn.
  • Consider giving your kids medications such as acid blockers and reducers, but be sure to consult with your pediatrician as well.
  • Keep a list of the foods that can or cannot be eaten to make sure you’ll feed them properly.
  • Consult a pediatrician to check the symptoms and treat the heartburn.


Parents always want the best for their children. And when it comes to their health, prevention is always better than treatment. Heartburn, for instance, can cause discomfort in children. This needs to be checked and treated properly to ensure that they are always in good health. It will also be helpful if you can refer to a heartburn resource to know more information on how to avoid it.

You might be interested to know more about the causes and treatment of heartburn. Some questions like, “Can probiotics help with acid reflux?” can be answered by referring to a resource like Reflux Away. Visit our site today to find out more!