An Overview of Pediatric Dysphagia
Difficulty swallowing or dysphagia can be present in children and adults alike. Pediatric dysphagias have long been recognized in the literature. Certain groups of infants with specific developmental and/or medical conditions have been identified as being at high risk for developing dysphagia. Still others may present with a swallowing or feeding problem as their primary symptom. Left untreated, these problems in infants and children can lead to failure to thrive, aspiration pneumonias, gastroesophageal reflux, and/or the inability to establish and maintain proper nutrition and hydration. Awareness of the prevalence of pediatric dysphagia in today's population and the signs and symptoms of this condition aids in its treatment. Early detection of dysphagia in infants and children is important to prevent or minimize complications. This article provides a review of symptoms, etiologies, and resources available regarding management of this condition to help the primary care physician and the families of young children and infants in its management.
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