Welcome, we are so glad you are here and want to learn more about pediatric feeding disorders. Did you know that eating is extremely painful or impossible for some infants and children? Imagine if your baby struggled to eat, and every bite became a challenge marred by coughing, choking, gagging, retching, or vomiting. For the families of these infants and children every meal is a painful battle.
Eating is more difficult than walking or talking and it takes 26 muscles and 6 cranial nerves to produce a single swallow. It is a vital function for survival and development. When children are unable to eat, they cannot thrive cognitively, physically, or emotionally. They produce uncomfortable children, worried parents, frequent telephone calls, office visits, and challenged physicians.
The Big Picture
- Feeding disorders can disrupt many aspects of a child’s life, including growth, cognitive development, physical strength, behavior, and nutritional status.
- Unfortunately, there limited feeding experts available to treat these infants and children. It involves a complex and frustrating process with little research or education available.
- Feeding Matters exists because these infants, children, and families are under served and misunderstood.
The Impact of Feeding Disorders
- Pediatric feeding disorders is a true debilitating condition that may lead to developmental delays with long lasting consequences.
- +1,000,000 – Estimated number of children under age five nationwide with severe feeding disorders.
- $32,000 – The annual cost to support a child on a feeding tube.
- Care is fragmented and families are challenged with facilitating the care for their child.