The National President of the Reflux Infant’s Support Association, Carla Cram, today agreed with the recent report released by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Dr Fallon Cook in relation to the mental health of children who had been previously classified as severely unsettled.
In 2016, our association issued the results of a study conducted into the experience of parents of children with gastroesophageal reflux disease. The study highlighted several concerning findings. One of these findings was that the comorbidity of numerous other conditions was present and that early intervention with this cohort could potentially yield significant improvements in longer-term health outcomes.
One of the key themes of parent experiences in having an extremely unsettled infant was lack of support from medical professionals. Some infants suffered from symptoms for months before a correct diagnosis was made. Parent’s concerns were sometimes dismissed, or parents were given inconsistent advice on how to manage the infant’s distress. Many infants were found to be in significant pain which was consequentially being ignored by the medical professionals. This, in turn, created significant distress for parents.
Reflux Infants Support Association calls for better diagnosis and understanding of the causes of infant distress including the development of guidelines for medical professionals in protecting infant mental health.