Question: Are hiccups common in young children or babies? My girl is 18 months old and she’s having hiccups every day, usually when she’s tired.
Answer: Hiccups occur due to an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm (the large muscle that divides the chest from the abdomen).
Hiccups are normal in infants and are very rarely due to any health problems. Common causes include over-eating, drinking gaseous solution, certain emotional states like stress, anxiety and tiredness.
Other possible causes include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), side effects of medications, infections etc. Seek medical attention if the hiccups are associated with a tummy ache, bloody vomits, severe cough, associated with starting a medication or persist for more than 3 hours.
If your child hiccups when she is tired but is otherwise healthy, there should be no concerns. Otherwise, please see your paediatrician for a detailed consultation.
Dr Wong Chin Khoon, Paediatrician, SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Tiong Bahru branch)
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic
298 Tiong Bahru Road
#01-03/04 Central Plaza
Tel: 6276 5700
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