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Preparation Instructions for 24-Hour pH Probe Test

This test is important in determining the amount of acid refluxed into your child's esophagus over a 24 hour period. The results provide valuable information in planning your child's treatment. We ask that you follow these instructions to ensure an accurate test.

Care of pH Probe Unit

  • Handle it with care, as the unit is a sophisticated computer. Your child should not shower, bathe, or swim until the tube has been removed.
  • Keep the unit in the leather case at all times.
  • Don’t disconnect or turn it off for any reason. Don’t press any buttons unless instructed to do so.


  • Try to structure your child’s eating into three meals and no more than two snacks for the day. (Don’t allow your child to “graze” or “snack” all day long.)
  • Try to have your child finish all meals and snacks within a 20-minute period. An infant or toddler should continue his or her usual pattern of meals and snacks.
  • The only drinks allowed are milk or milk substitute, Kool-Aid, formula, or water. No juices, no soft drinks/carbonated beverages, and chocolate-flavored or beverages with caffeine.
  • Your child should not chew gum or eat candy while the pH probe is in. Do not allow your child to have any foods with any tomato sauces in or on them. Avoid sticky foods, such as peanut butter, marshmallows, etc.


  • Your child should remain in an upright position throughout the day. This means sitting, standing, or walking.
  • Babies and young children may continue their daily routines/activities. They may sleep in any position.


  • During the test period, do not take any gastric acid reduction medications such as Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, Axid, Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, Protonix, Reglan, Nexium, Maalox, Tums, etc., unless instructed otherwise.
  • Do not take calcium supplements, laxatives, antacids, aspirins or non-steroidals such as Advil.
  • Take Tylenol if needed during the testing period.

Diary Sheets

Maintain a diary of events. Use the clock on the computer to record the time you write information in the diary. Document the following:

  • The beginning and end of each meal.
  • The time your child lies down and the time your child gets up.
  • The onset and/or duration of any symptoms (heartburn, chest or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, coughing, regurgitation, or difficulty swallowing).

If the tube is removed for any reason, please notify the Pediatric GI office at (585) 275-2647 to receive instructions for proper care of the probe. Write the exact time the tube was removed on the diary sheet.

You may call the office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. with questions, concerns, or problems. If emergency medical attention is necessary, call the office.

The information provided is general information only and not to be used as medical advice. Please consult with your child's doctor for specific instructions related to your child's illness.