Feeding Problems and Oropharyngeal Dysphagia in Children

Pamela Dodrill


Like adults, infants and older children can present with swallowing and feeding difficulties. Unlike adults, children have rapidly developing body systems, and even short-term problems with swallowing and/or feeding can interrupt normal development and cause serious long-term sequelae. In order for a child to reach their physical and cognitive growth potential, sufficient energy and nutrients must be consumed. Feeding difficulties can have a detrimental effect on dietary intake and, hence, growth. This article aims to provide an overview of the typical development of feeding skills in children, as well as of interventions aimed at assisting children with feeding and swallowing difficulties. A review of the literature indicates that many intervention techniques utilized by clinicians have not been formally evaluated by high-quality research studies and, thus, further research in this area is needed to support and guide clinical practice.


Children; Feeding; Dysphagia

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