1. Talk to your doctor if medications prescribed for your child’s symptoms are not “working.”
Ask your doctor how long your child should continue to take the prescribed medication(s). How will the doctor determine if and when your child can stop any of the medications he/she is on?
2. Stop bedtime snacks including all beverages other than water.
Toddlers and children need to avoid drinking milk, juice, soda, or any beverage other than water so to avoid “backwash” into the throat during sleep.
3. Avoid or minimize dairy and sugar in the evenings.
Dairy and sugar both lead to increased acidity in the stomach as well as delayed gastric emptying time, resulting in slow digestion, indigestion, and reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) may lead to problems during sleep and even into the next day such as coughing, stuffy nose, and sore throat.
4. Choose snacks carefully if your child must eat after dinner or before bed. Try bananas, dry crackers, and avoid foods containing dairy and sugar.
Some foods are more acidic than others and more likely to cause reflux. In addition to avoiding dairy and sugar, also avoid chocolate, soda, citrus fruits and orange juice. Even fresh fruits such as grapes and berries are highly acidic, instead eat cantaloupe, pears, bananas and oatmeal.
5. Treat your child’s constipation—don’t ignore it.
If the body is constipated, then the digestive process takes even longer. As the plumbing gets backed up it increases the risk of reflux of stomach contents back up into the esophagus and even throat.