Child with Swallowing Difficulty (Dysphagia): Safe Swallowing Strategies
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) Paediatric Neurology and Speech Language Therapy Service 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:
Provided with verbal/tactile prompts 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 (if on minimal oral trials/pleasure feeding)