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Red Flags for Eating and Drinking Problems

If your child is showing some of the following signs, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor or another health professional, such as a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, dietician or health nurse.

  • Arching or stiffening of the body during feeding

  • Coughing or choking during feeding

  • Being very irritable/fussy during or after feeding

  • Taking a really long time to feed (more than 30-45 minutes)

  • Frequent spitting up

  • Getting sick often with pneumonia or chest infections

  • Gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice

  • Less than normal weight gain or growth

  • Lots of leakage of food or liquid from the mouth

  • Coughing, gagging or throwing up during or after meals

  • Stuffing mouth with food

  • Holding food inside pockets in mouth for long periods

  • Difficulty accepting new textures of food, avoidance behaviours to specific foods and textures (gagging, vomiting, blocking the spoon with hands or closed lips, crying, pushing food away, etc.)

  • Abnormal bowel movements that last longer than a few days (diarrhea, constipation, loose stool)

  • Skin reactions to foods (dry patches, hives, rashes) Note: If your child seems to be having a severe allergic reaction to a food (difficulty breathing, turning red, developing hives or rash on the face/chest), you should seek medical help immediately.