Childhood Diseases

Posted by: BMJ | 2010/12/10



Dear Doc

My 7 year old son has recently developed what seems to be a problem swallowing. Every time he swallows he clears his throat - almost like when you have a piece of popcorn stuck. It is a new development - in the last 2 weeks. He also says it feels like the food is ''stuck''. He takes big bites so initially I thought he was just eating badly, but I am noticing it more and more. Today I also noticed that he seems to be clearing his throat even when not eating. He always has a husky voice (did ask the ENT to check his vocal cords about two years ago during a grommet op) but it seems even huskier than usual.

He does not have pain. His tonsils are out. He has no cold or allergies. Just this constant clearing his throat like something is stuck. It seems different to me than throat clearing from a post nasal drip. I am just feeling concerned now.

Any advise for me please?

Expert's Reply



This is a very good description of your son's problem. It is possible that he does indeed have something stuck in his throat. The most common objects to get stuck and cause symptoms like this are small chicken bones or a fish bone. He should be seen at an emergency paediatric unit as he may need to be scoped by an ENT specialist.

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