Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is a pediatric ENT consultation needed if my baby keeps swallowing a lot?"
My one-year-old keeps swallowing loudly very often. I think something may be wrong. He could just have a sore throat. What should I do?
It is always difficult to know when you need to take your child to the doctor. In general, if your child is gaining weight appropriately and meeting all of his or her milestones, most problems can be sorted out by discussing them with your primary care doctor during routine, scheduled examinations. It is more difficult when there appears to be an acute problem or concern, as there is always the question about whether or not there is anything serious that needs to be addressed. In the majority of cases, these issues can be addressed first with your child's pediatrician, who will know how to triage the problem and recommend further specialist visits or intervention as needed. While you are correct that a pediatric ear-nose-and throat doctor (aka, otolaryngologist) would be the appropriate specialist to assess a swallowing problem in your child, it is quite possible that a specialist is not needed at this time. Your pediatrician would be an excellent resource, and would have the added benefit of having followed your child for some time, meaning that he or she would be familiar with your baby. Please speak to your pediatrician about your concern.
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