Pediatric Dysphagia: Physiology, Assessment, and Management

Ann Nutr Metab. 2015:66 Suppl 5:24-31. doi: 10.1159/000381372. Epub 2015 Jul 24.


Infancy and childhood represent a time of unparalleled physical growth and cognitive development. In order for infants and children to reach their linear and neurological growth potential, they must be able to reliably and safely consume sufficient energy and nutrients. Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) in pediatric populations can have a detrimental effect on dietary intake and, thus, growth and development. As a result, it is imperative to accurately identify and appropriately manage dysphagia in pediatric populations. This article provides an overview of dysphagia in children, as well as common causes of childhood swallowing difficulties, populations at risk for pediatric dysphagia, techniques used to assess swallowing in pediatric patients, and the current treatment options available for infants and children with dysphagia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / therapy*
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Larynx / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Aspiration / etiology