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Infant Dysphagia Test

If your infant experiences any one of the Red List symptoms, or one or more of the Black List symptoms below, you should consult with your medical professional and request a referral for a feeding and swallowing evaluation.


These symptoms indicate significant risks for aspiration, obstruction, malnutrition, and feeding problems that could impact your child’s growth – social and emotional development, physical development and overall health

Red List

Indicates significant risk for aspiration, obstruction and severe swallowing dysfunction

  • Choking, coughing, gagging during feeding

  • Color changes: eyes water or turn red, color change to blue

  • Aerophagia (swallowing air) during feeding

  • Uncoordinated suck / swallow / breathe patterns

  • Unusual sounds during swallowing (inspiratory stridor, laryngomalacia)

  • “Sleep feed” or “dream feed” (when you put your baby to sleep or your baby falls asleep in order to feed easier)

  • Vomiting or reflux (especially during feeding)

  • Traumatic choking incident

  • Stressful feeding, feeding aversions, infant is difficult for everyone to feed

Black List

Indicates significant risk for feeding disorder often accompanied by a swallowing disorder

  • Breast or bottle feeding difficulties

  • Tongue / lip tie (suspected or diagnosed)

  • Nipple pain or mis-shaping of nipple

  • Infant tires before finishing feeding

  • Shallow latch

  • Poor suck patterns

  • Difficulty latching or staying latched

  • Biting instead of sucking

  • Poor / limited milk transfer

  • Feeding aversion

  • Disorganized feeding patterns

  • Loss of milk during feeding

If you have concerns, please ask your physician for a referral to evaluate your child’s feeding skills and behaviors. Early and effective intervention is key to successful eating skills and swallowing skills. Contact us or feel free to call with any questions at 727-217-5023.

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