GERD in Infants and Children (cont.)

What Are the Treatments for Acid Reflux in Infants and Children?

There are a variety of lifestyle measures you can try for acid reflux in your child:

For infants:

  • Elevating the head of the baby's crib or bassinet.
  • Hold the baby upright for 30 minutes after a feeding.
  • Thicken bottle feedings with cereal (do not do this without a doctor's supervision).
  • Change feeding schedules.
  • Try solid food (with your doctor's approval).

For older children:

  • Elevate the head of the child's bed.
  • Keep the child upright for at least two hours after eating.
  • Serving several small meals throughout the day, rather than two or three large meals.
  • Limiting foods and beverages that seem to worsen your child's reflux.
  • Encourage your child to get regular exercise

If the reflux is severe or doesn't get better, your doctor may recommend drugs to treat it.

Medications for GERD

Drugs to Lessen Gas

Drugs to Neutralize or Decrease Stomach Acid

Researchers aren't sure whether decreasing stomach acid lessens reflux in infants.

For the most part, drugs that decrease intestinal gas or neutralize stomach acid (antacids) are very safe. At high doses, antacids can cause some side effects, such as diarrhea. Chronic use of very high doses of Maalox or Mylanta may be associated with an increased risk of rickets (thinning of the bones) or vitamin B12 deficiency.

Side effects from medications that inhibit the production of stomach acid are quite uncommon. A small number of children may develop some sleepiness when they take Zantac, Pepcid, Axid, or Tagamet.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/11/2012

© 2005-2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Source article on WebMD

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

GERD in Infants and Children - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your infant's or child's GERD?
GERD in Infants and Children - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your child's GERD or acid reflux?
GERD in Infants and Children - Experience Question: Please share your experience of GERD and acid reflux in baby and children.


Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!