The false road of the infant

The false road is the involuntary passage of a food or a substance in the airways, which would normally take the digestive tract. This is frequently called "swallowing crookedly".

The wrong road can affect everyone, adults and children. Infants are particularly at risk because they have a poor cough reflex. False roads are not to be taken lightly because they can be both innocuous and fatal and cause sudden infant death.

A little anatomy!

In the human body, the breathing apparatus, which allows breathing (the larynx, the trachea, the lungs) is very close to the digestive system (the esophagus, the stomach). It is like a highway (mouth and pharynx) with a crossroads: the aero-digestive junction with a valve (the epiglottis) to direct on the side of breathing or on the side of digestion.

Given the approximation of the system to breathe and that to swallow, it is sufficient that the valve closes badly and a false route is quickly arrived.

The false route of the infant is very frequent, and its causes go from the simple technical "error" to the anatomical malformation. In all cases, when the false roads in an infant are repeated, a consultation with a pediatrician is necessary.

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Read also :

Infant regurgitation
Infant diarrhea
Infant colic

Author : Dr. Mélanie Gerbaux, general practitioner

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