A female asked:

My friend's son is gagging himself. he looks proportionate for 16 month but could this be a sign of neglect? my friend has in the past had drug issue which is my reason for concern. when her son does this she tells him no and gives him a binky. my friend

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 27 years experience
Hello. : Hello. I don't know the reason that your friends son gags himself. It could be a conditioned behavior. If he feels comforted by his binky and is given a binky whenever he gags, he may be conditioned to repeat the behavior. I don't think that this behavior taken in isolation would be a solid indicator for abuse.
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Dr. Mark Shih
Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine 33 years experience
Sometimes : Sometimes toddlers will gag themselves pushing their fingers back into their throats due to issues of reflux. Presumably, they are trying to get at areas that are irritated by refluxed acid affecting the back of the throat. Other signs of reflux in a toddler of his age may include sudden tearing up of the eyes or a sour smell of stomach acid on his breath. This level of irritation would be lessened by sucking on a binky. His best bet at this time would be to have him evaluated by his pediatrician to look for a cause for the self gagging.
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Last updated Oct 3, 2016


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