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Why does my daughter get hiccoughs?

Q: My 9 months old daughter keeps getting hiccoughs when she laughs. She had acid reflux problem since birth for, which she was taking Zantac 0.6 ml daily till her 5 months age now she stopped. Please advise.

A:Nearly all infants do get hiccoughs from time to time for short durations (say a few minutes). The age old home remedy has been to give small quantity of water or a liquid (such as milk). Vigorous laughing is known to precipitate hiccups. The remedy is to distract the attention of the infant (such as making the infant play with a toy or briefly show the TV). Hiccoughs are not dangerous. In only severe and persistent cases of hiccups, drug treatment may be required. You have not mentioned the frequency and duration of hiccoughs. Also did ranitidine (Zantac), an acid suppressant help even though given for reflux? Unfortunately experience with the use of ranitidine below 8 years is limited though sporadic, short term use is unlikely to pose any significant risk.

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