Vomiting is a common childhood problem and may be a specific or nonspecific manifestation of a benign process or a serious, life-threatening illness or injury. Vomiting or regurgitation may be a manifestation of a relatively minor problem (e.g., a nervous parent, poor feeding habits, or gastroesophageal reflux) or it may be a sign of a more serious illness. Bilious vomiting is always a serious manifestation in an infant or a child. Vomiting may be a sign of obstructive or nonobstructive GI diseases, or of infections or metabolic disorders (Table 123-3).
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for what we know as acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach releases its liquid back into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage to the esophageal lining. The regurgitated acid most often consists of a few compoundsbr acid, bile, and pepsin.