Hiccups in Children

Signs, Symptoms & Causes

Hiccups happen when the diaphragm tightens up. (The diaphragm is a muscle used in breathing. It sits like a cap on top of the stomach.)


Babies usually get hiccups because they swallow air when feeding. The stomach gets bigger and squeezes the diaphragm. Sucking hard or eating too much can make hiccups worse. It helps to burp the baby often when feeding.


Older children get hiccups from drinking too much soda pop or eating too much too fast. An upset or too-full stomach can lead to hiccups. Hiccups can hurt, but they are usually harmless. And they don’t last very long.

Questions to Ask


•  Give your child 1 teaspoon of sugar. Have him or her swallow it fast. Do it 3 or more times, once every 2 minutes, if the hiccups don’t stop right away. (Note: For younger children, use 1 teaspoon of corn syrup.)

•  Give babies a swallow of water.

•  If all that doesn’t work, try this: Gently push down the back of your child’s tongue with the handle of a spoon. Do it 3 or 4 times.

•  Don’t scare the child to try to make the hiccups stop.

•  Have your child drink water with their head forward and down.

•  Here are some old folk cures you can try:

– Hold your child’s tongue with your clean thumb and index finger. Gently pull on the tongue.

– Give your child a little cracked ice to swallow.

– Have your child drink a glass of water fast.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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