GERD & Reflux

Reflux occurs during or after a meal when the stomach contents go back up into the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach).

The Difference Between Reflux and GERD in Kids

In babies it’s called spitting up. In older kids, the signs of reflux and GERD can be burping, stomach aches, and heartburn. Most people experience acid reflux sometimes, and it’s usually not a problem. Even infants who spit up frequently are usually perfectly healthy.

However, in some people, reflux happens so frequently and is so severe that it develops into a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when reflux causes troublesome symptoms or complications such as failure to gain weight, bleeding, respiratory problems or esophagitis.

You can develop GERD at any age. There are some differences between the symptoms, management, and treatment of GERD in infants and GERD in older children and teens. GIKids has resources and information about pediatric GERD, whether you have an infant, older child, or if you are a teen with GERD. The most important thing to know is that, with proper treatment, kids with GERD can lead normal, active lives.

Quick Facts about Reflux and GERD

  • In many cases GERD in kids can be managed with lifestyle changes, and without medication
  • GERD often runs in families
  • Kids with GERD may have frequent complaints of abdominal pain or a tummy ache
  • Children and teens with asthma are more likely to have GERD

Learn more about the symptoms and diagnosis of reflux and GERD in babies and teens.

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
The NASPGHAN Council For Pediatric Nutrition Professionals
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