What is an oral aversion?

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An oral aversion is when a infant or child refuses to accept food by mouth or when they are not accepting the developmentally appropriate amount, variety or type of food by mouth. Oral aversions are quite common with children with Short Gut syndrome. This may not initially be a problem per say, especially if a child is on TPN. However, this can become a serious issue if a child receives a transplant and is then able to eat orally, but is uninterested or unwilling to do so. Additionally, it is hypothesized that eating orally helps protects the liver of TPN dependent children. The development of an oral aversion is often associated with the following: prematurity, extended hospitalized, a history of invasive medical proceedures, exclusively tube or IV fed, an extended period of time NPO (not eating orally), developmental problems, etc. A child with Short Gut, has naturally experienced many of these circumstances.