Health Watch: Acid reflux in children

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The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention says about one in ten children have asthma, and the numbers are only
increasing in the US.

If your child has asthma, you’re probably familiar with the coughing, wheezing, chest pain, and shortness of breath. But now, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology has created a guideline which helps doctors understand which treatments belong with different age groups, and how parents can set up new therapies if the old ones aren’t working.

But some doctors are realizing that childrens’ “asthma” symptoms, may be something else entirely.

“Reflux is the great masquerader of our time, and it affects millions and millions of children,” says Dr Jamie Koufman.

Koufman says the junk food given to kids at night can make acid reflux look like asthma or allergies.

“If your child always has respiratory symptoms, be it ear symptoms, nose symptoms, cough symptoms, breathing symptoms, allergy symptoms, sinus symptoms, asthma and they’re not getting better and it goes on and on and on, think respiratory reflux.”

Acid reflux symptoms do not always include heartburn. They can present as chronic dry cough or difficulty swallowing. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

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