What are the signs and symptoms of pediatric gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Updated: Mar 14, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Pediatric patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease typically cry and show sleep disturbance and decreased appetite. Other common signs and symptoms in infants and young children include the following:

  • Typical or atypical crying and/or irritability

  • Apnea and/or bradycardia

  • Poor appetite; weight loss or poor growth (failure to thrive)

  • Apparent life-threatening event

  • Vomiting

  • Wheezing, stridor

  • Abdominal and/or chest pain

  • Recurrent pneumonitis

  • Sore throat, hoarseness and/or laryngitis

  • Chronic cough

  • Water brash

  • Sandifer syndrome (ie, posturing with opisthotonus or torticollis)

Signs and symptoms in older children include all of the above plus heartburn and a history of vomiting, regurgitation, unhealthy teeth, and halitosis.

See Clinical Presentation for more detail.

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