Child with Swallowing Difficulty (Dysphagia): Tips for Safe Feeding
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) Paediatric Neurology and Speech Therapy departments share tips for how to safely feed a child with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia).
When feeding a child with swallowing difficulty (dysphagia)
ensure that the child is awake, alert and well supported in a chair.
Safety tips when feeding a child with swallowing difficulty (dysphagia)
These strategies are important to ensure that feeding is safe and pleasurable for you and your child. Ensure that the child is:
Awake and alert
Optimally positioned during feeding
Optimal positioning means:
Prompt for swallows
Provided pacing and rest breaks as recommended by your speech therapist
Dangers to take note of when feeding a child with swallowing difficulty (dysphagia)
STOP feeding if the child persistently coughs, chokes or displays fatigue
No oral feeding if the child is unwell
Ensure no hyperextension of the child's neck during feeding
No force-feeding of the child