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:

  • Appropriately upright

  • There is no hyperextension of the child's neck

  • Child is well supported in a chair/buggy

Provided with verbal/tactile prompts for swallows

Fed slowly

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)

  • No force-feeding of the child

Ref: K21