What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning feeling in your chest behind the breastbone and occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach). It does not mean you have anything wrong with your heart. It is usually worse when you are lying down or bent over. Occasional heartburn is nothing to worry about. Frequent heartburn may indicate other health issues.

What are the causes?

  • The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens and closes to allow food to pass from the esophagus into the stomach. If the LES relaxes abnormally or weakens it will not close when it is supposed to. Then, stomach acid leaks back into the esophagus causing a burning feeling.

Treatments for Heartburn:

  • Over-the-counter antacids to neutralize stomach acid
  • Medication to reduce stomach acid production
  • Medication to control acid and heal the esophagus

What can I do?

  • Know which foods and drinks cause your child to experience heartburn and avoid them.
  • Encourage regular exercise to help your child maintain a healthy weight.
  • Have your child avoid tight fitting clothing that can put pressure on the stomach and LES.
  • Call your child’s doctor if he or she has difficulty swallowing or symptoms do not go away.


It is important to remember the health information found on this Web site is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a true medical emergency, call 911 immediately.


  • Burning pain in the chest (usually after eating or at night)
  • Pain that worsens when lying down or bending over


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