Gastroesophageal Reflux: When Do Kids Need Urgent Care?


Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a health condition with frequent acid flow back to the tube connecting the mouth and stomach. Experienced by many, this condition may irritate the esophagus if it frequently happens. However, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications should help patients recover from GERD.

For babies, burping is a great way to get rid of the extra air formed in their stomachs after feeding. Although it’s normal for babies to spit up some of what they ate, there are instances where the spitting is uncontrollable and becomes more challenging to manage. GERD is typical and usually occurs during the baby’s second to the third week. The process improves the baby’s head and trunk control to prepare for its transition to eating solid foods. However, when is spitting up normal, and when is it something to worry about? Here are some signs to look at.

When Do Kids Experiencing GERD Need Urgent Care?

As mentioned, GERD is typical and occurs from time to time. However, there are instances where involuntary vomiting may lead to danger which can hurt the kids or babies. However, here are early signs that point to early detection:

1. Exhibiting a Bad Eating Habit

Instead of eating, the baby will throw a tantrum or simply drink the prepared infant formula.

2. Throwing Tantrums After Meals

Even if they eat, they will throw a tantrum after eating, which may be challenging for parents.

3. Coughing

Due to the substances coming back up from their stomach, they may feel the need to cough to let it all out.

4. Adding Weight/Losing Weight

An issue connected with the digestive system can affect how their bodies react to the symptoms.

5. Less Wet Diapers

The scenario only means that they are not drinking or eating well, resulting in less waste production.

How to Alleviate GERD Symptoms?

Patients suffering from unusual GERD symptoms may need to seek professional medical care. There also might be changes required to breastfeeding moms to ensure that their babies will experience spitting up less often.

For example, the removal of dairy and soy products may prevent lactose intolerance or allergies in babies. Meanwhile, non-breastfeeding moms may need to prepare a thicker baby formula using infant cereals or amino acid-based formula for two to four weeks. However, after two months, if the symptoms persist, then it’s best to seek urgent care for kids right away.

Meanwhile, there are first aid methods that are less popular than seeking an immediate medical response. But recent studies have debunked the ideas and made them unusable in solving GERD attacks, for example, elevating the baby’s head or having them lie on their sides while sleeping. Another is to massage their bodies and use prebiotics, probiotics, or herbal therapies. 


Signs of an upcoming GERD attack are common. They include blood, greenish tinge in the spit up, forceful spitting or vomiting, abdominal distension, wheezing, and the persistence of poor weight gain even after an intervention is some of them. Therefore, there is no excuse for parents not to notice any changes in their babies or kids.

Overall, GERD is something parents should be concerned about. It may be a regular occurrence once in a while, but it can lead to severe health problems such as esophagitis, esophageal stricture, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer. Because of this, it’s essential to keep an eye out for the symptoms of GERD exhibited by kids to ensure that they are safe and not suffering from any issues in their digestive system.

Your Kid’s Urgent Care is an after-hours medical facility to provide urgent care for kids in Orlando, FL. Founded in 2007, we have always created a perfect world for young patients to help them keep calm and soothed during a doctor’s appointment. Check our operating hours on our website and visit us anytime.

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