Swallowing disorder is indeed a serious condition that requires proper medical attention. When an individual suffers from swallowing difficulty, they can not swallow food or even drink. That means they will not get enough nutrients and might develop other health issues.
The situation should get more attention in case a child has developed Dysphagia.
The worst part is that they also can not be given medications because they will not be able to swallow the medication. But a lot of products, like pill swallowing gels, are available in the market. If you are looking for one, read more here.
Infant Swallowing Disorders
An infant or child with a swallowing disorder or Dysphagia might have trouble swallowing liquids or food. Even they experience challenges while swallowing saliva. While swallowing, the child might also experience pain.
As a result, the child, who is suffering from a swallowing disorder, does not get enough nutrients that can affect the ability to gain weight and grow.
You might be surprised to know that 6 cranial nerves and 50 pairs of muscles are involved in the swallowing action of an individual. In case a single thing goes wrong in the process, it might cause swallowing difficulty.
This particular health condition is common among children. An estimation states that around 25% to 45% of children develop some form of the condition.
The Phrases Of Pediatric Dysphagia
The particular action, swallowing, has 4 phases. The first 2 phases are voluntary, but phases 3 and 4 occur involuntarily in the body of a child. When one or more of all these 4 phases fail to occur the way they should, a child develops Dysphagia.
Oral Preparation Phase
When the liquid and food are prepared in the mouth for swallowing, it means being chewed; the oral preparation phase takes place.
Now, when the tongue starts the specific swallowing episode, and that too by pushing the liquid and food to the back of the mouth, it is called the oral phase.
When the liquid and food are passed through the throat or pharynx and go into the swallowing tube or esophagus, the pharyngeal phase takes place.
Last but not least, the esophageal phase is when the liquid and food go into the stomach from the esophagus.
The Causes Of Swallowing Disorder In Children Or Baby
When we are talking about pediatric Dysphagia or swallowing disorders in children or babies and looking for teh causes, you should know that various reasons can play a major role behind it.
It can be various diseases, illnesses, and congenital defects that the baby was born with. Here are some of the most common causes of swallowing disorders in babies or children. Now, let’s get to know them.
- Cleft palate or cleft lip.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD.
- Vocal cord paralysis.
All these health issues or conditions require a doctor’s attention and proper treatment, or the condition can get worse.
The Treatments Of Swallowing Disorder In Children Or Baby
When comes to the treatment of swallowing disorders in babies ro children, it varies from medications and behavioral therapy to surgery. Usually, the treatments emphasize the actual reason that is working behind developing swallowing difficulties.
We have already mentioned the major causes of pediatric Dysphagia. And the treatment typically involves focusing on and treating all those situations.
A speech-language pathologist or SLP can work with you along with some other specialist in order to determine the right treatment plan which will be the best for your child.
Symptoms Of Swallowing Disorder In Children And Baby
For different children, the symptoms and signs of Dysphagia usually vary. In general cases, the main symptom is the inability to swallow correctly while drinking and eating. Here are the most common symptoms of swallowing difficulties in children.
Infants Upto 3 Years Old
- Arching back.
- Excessive crying.
- Difficulty breathing while eating.
- Lack of weight gain or weight loss.
Children, Older Than 3 Years
- Voice sounds different.
- Lack of weight gain or weight loss.
- Feeling like there is food stuck in their throat.
- Eating slowly.
- While eating, I have difficulty breathing.
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