Mercy Kids Feeding and Swallowing Services

Children with feeding and swallowing problems have various signs and symptoms, but not all of them are present in every child. Red flags that parents should look for include:

  • Feeding for more than 20 to 30 minutes
  • Stressful mealtimes
  • Poor weight gain
  • Refusal to self feed
  • Coughing and gagging during meals
  • Crying or acting out at the presentation of new foods
  • Refusing entire texture categories (i.e. baby/table foods)
  • Refusing entire food groups (i.e. fruits/vegetables)

We treat children with feeding and swallowing challenges, including:

  • Nervous system disorders (i.e., cerebral palsy, encephalopathy)
  • Gastrointestinal conditions (i.e., reflux)
  • Prematurity and/or low birth weight
  • Cleft lip/palate and craniofacial deformities
  • Autism
  • Respiratory difficulties

If left untreated, feeding and swallowing problems may lead to a limited diet, dehydration, poor nutrition, aspiration, pneumonia, and repeated upper respiratory infections.

If you suspect your child is having difficulty eating, contact your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may recommend working with a member of our feeding team who specializes in treating children with feeding and swallowing disorders. This individual, along with other key members of our team, will evaluate and assess your child. The team will then make recommendations on how to improve your child’s feeding and swallowing concern.

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