Digestive congestion in children

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Digestive congestion

It can come if you eat or drink something very cold quickly, like ice cream or an iced drink. But even if after having just finished eating a big meal, you immediately take a dip in the water or start running or playing. What are we talking about? From the digestive congestion, a frequent disturbance in summer, mainly due to sudden changes in temperature. Often the most affected are children, because they are always on the move and often cannot recognize the problem immediately.

Let's see what digestive congestion is and how to prevent it.


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In this article


  • What is digestive congestion 
  • How to prevent digestive congestion
Read also: Congestion risk, can children take a bath after eating?

What is digestive congestion

La digestive congestion is nothing but a blocking of digestive processes which occurs when the body is exposed to a drop in temperature.

After eating, the intestine starts to absorb the nutrients coming from the ingested foods: to do this, it draws blood from other parts of the body, through a mechanism of vasodilation in the intestine, which is accompanied by vasoconstriction at the peripheral level. The result is that while more blood arrives in the abdominal area, in other regions of the body (including the brain) a little less may arrive. In practice, the blood, during digestion, is concentrated in the stomach area.

In this very delicate phase, if a strong thermal shock is experienced, the body takes action a so-called vessel-constriction mechanism (narrowing of blood vessels) which decreases the blood supply to the stomach and intestines. This causes the digestive block

Plunging into cold water or drinking an ice cold drink could interfere with the digestive process and impair blood circulation. To remedy and keep the body temperature constant, the brain draws blood to itself, with the effect that the digestive process is interrupted and circulatory disordersabdominal crampsnauseavomiting and even, in the most serious cases, loss of consciousness.

The problem is that if you are in the water in these conditions you could risk drowning, or because in the case of cramps and pains it often happens to panic.

On the other hand, there is no danger if the child is limited to playing on the water's edge (obviously taking into account the appropriate precautions regarding exposure to the sun).


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How to prevent digestive congestion

Congestion can be prevented by avoiding severe temperature changes. In particular, after a meal, it would be better not to suddenly go from a very hot place to an air-conditioned environment or vice versa, drink iced drinks or eat very cold foods, immediately jump into water or engage in intense physical activity.

In general common sense is recommended: if you have eaten a large meal, it is preferable to wait 2-3 hours before taking a bath, if instead you have eaten very light foods or a fruit or vegetable snack, then you can also enter the water immediately .

A useful tip is to get wet gradually, starting first from the wrists and temples, to accustom the body to the different temperature, and avoid the so-called thermal shock. In any case, the important thing is to listen to your body and know how to evaluate the physical condition of the moment. In the case of children, parents are advised to always keep an eye on them and never leave them alone in the water.

Here it isand rules valid for both adults and children to avoid congestion:

  1. avoid carbonated and cold drinks
  2. do not eat fatty foods and anything that makes the intestines work harder
  3. prefer carbohydrates as they metabolize quickly
  4. eat fruits and vegetables and cool drinks
  5. After lunch, wait an average of two to three hours before bathing
Read also: Congestion risk: 5 tips to prevent it

Questions and answers

What is Congestion?  

The term congestion is commonly used to define a digestive block (intestinal blockage from cold or stomach congestion).

What causes congestion?  

The main cause of congestion is a strong temperature change that occurs during digestion.

How to prevent the risk of congestion in the child?  

To prevent congestion, it is best to avoid:

  • suddenly switch from one temperature to another
  • drinking frozen drinks or eating very cold foods
  • dive into cold waters
  • engage in strenuous physical activity

  • congestion risk for children
  • sea ​​congestion
  • 3-5 children years
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