ediatric GERD / Acid Reflux
Children with Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux
Disease (GERD) can go undiagnosed for months,
according to a new survey of moms.
When is a child's stomachache more than an upset
stomach? The answer is not clear, but when stomachaches occur frequently it could be a
symptom of pediatric gastroesophageal reflux
disease, or GERD. More than 15 million adult
Americans suffer from GERD; it is also common and
often overlooked in children.
A new consumer survey of 210 mothers of children
diagnosed with pediatric GERD
showed that an
average of more than two months passed between
when the child first showed frequent symptoms or
complained of stomachaches until the time they
were diagnosed with pediatric GERD. The survey was
developed in conjunction with the Pediatric
Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association
Recognizing the symptoms of pediatric GERD
a challenge for parents. Many symptoms of this
disease are also common ailments afflicting
children, including frequent stomachaches, nausea,
vomiting and belching.
is a serious condition that has
been associated with chronic respiratory
conditions such as cough, bronchitis, hoarseness
and pneumonia. In the most severe cases, pediatric
can cause malnutrition and even failure to
thrive," said pediatric gastroenterologist Susan
Maisel, M.D. "The results of this survey raise
concerns about the lack of knowledge mothers may
have about the symptoms of pediatric GERD. It is
important for parents to discuss their child's
symptoms with their pediatrician."
"Not surprisingly, the survey revealed as many as
80 percent of parents turn to the Internet for
information on pediatric GERD" says Beth Anderson,
director of PAGER. "While the Internet is a great
first step for parents to learn about pediatric
GERD, we urge parents to speak with their child's
physician for proper diagnosis and treatment
Furthermore, the survey revealed that less than
half of mothers of children without GERD
know it is a common condition in children.
"If mothers are familiar with the possible
symptoms of GERD, children may receive a diagnosis
from their doctor in a more timely manner," said
Maisel. "For my pediatric GERD
patients, I usually
recommend diet and lifestyle changes in
conjunction with a prescription, if needed."
The survey consisted of 1,000 interviews with
mothers of children between the ages of 12 months
and 17 years, and was conducted by Yankelovich and
funded by TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc.