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Discharge Instructions for Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Your child has been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a backflow of acid from the stomach into the swallowing tube (esophagus).

Home Care

  • Burp your child frequently during feeding.

  • Keep your child upright as much as possible during feedings and for about 30 minutes after the feeding is over.

  • Feed your baby more often and in smaller amounts.

  • Give your child medications exactly as directed by your doctor.

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about products to thicken your child’s formula. Thicker formula stays in the stomach longer.

  • Talk to your doctor about surgical options. If medications and changes in feeding don’t relieve symptoms, surgery may be necessary.

  • Keep a log that details how much formula or breast milk your child takes in each day. Review the log at your next appointment with your doctor.



When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if your child has any of the following:

  • Fever:

    • In an infant under 3 months old, a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

    • In a child of any age, fever that rises repeatedly above 104°F (40°C) 

    • A fever that lasts more than 24-hours in a child under 2 years old, or for 3 days in a child 2 years or older

    • A seizure caused by the fever

  • Trouble breathing

  • Wheezing or coughing

  • Bloody spittle or drool

  • Choking

  • Trouble gaining weight

  • Trouble drinking or swallowing

  • Not breathing


If your child has trouble breathing, call 911 (emergency) immediately.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bass, Pat F. III, MD, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 3/16/2014
© 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.