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Feeding Tubes & Emotional Roadblocks

Caring for a child, parent, or another family member that has a feeding tube can be challenging, both physically and mentally. There are many challenges that you will face and many emotional barriers that you will have to overcome, but they are all part of the crazy thing we call life. Many emotional blocks that you will face will not just be at home. They could occur at school, church, or at outing around friends and family. They might be issues with the tube itself, getting enough sleep, or just general added stress.

Every parent deals with all of these road blocks, but it can be hard when you add a feeding tube into the mix because you sometimes have to handle situations a little differently. Although all of these roadblocks might look like huge hurdles that are impossible to get over, they most certainly are not!! In this post, I will be going through just some of the potential challenges that you could face, and the most beneficial ways to get through them.

Tube Feeding at School

Tube feeding in the school cafeteria can be a bit stressful for not only the child, but also for the parent. Parents want everything to go right and according to plan. Unfortunately there will always be hiccups, but you can make sure that everything is planned out and your child has the best possible adults to help him or her through the lunchtime chaos.

 

School TF

The most crucial step for lunchtime are the safety procedures. The school should be informed of the proper handling techniques when helping your child, including:

  • Having clean hands before attaching any tubes or extensions
  • Wear gloves when appropriate
  • Ensuring that tube sites are NOT touched by any other students

Many schools do have policies for feeding tubes, and what to do in case of emergency and who to contact, but it is important to make sure you are aware of their policies. Other steps to ensure that your child has the safest and smoothest possible time both in and out of the classroom include:

  • Writing down instructions for your child’s feeding schedule/routine. Be specific with volumes, periods of time, water flushes, medication, etc.
  • If you are sending in supplies, make sure they are clean and properly labeled for the school nurse or healthcare provider
  • Make sure the food/formula is in a cool ice pack and make sure the healthcare provider knows if it needs to be refrigerated.
  • Talk to the teacher about any potential allergies as well, or any limitations that your child may have, both in and out of the classroom.

These tips will help ensure that you and your child have a stress-free time at school, and be surrounded by healthcare providers that can give you ease that your child is in the best hands possible at school, and that they are happy!

Family and Friends

Family is the most important thing in life, and it is easy for a child with a feeding tube to feel left out, especially if his or her siblings do not have a feeding tube. However, this situation can easily be avoided by making small tweaks in the day-to-day activities that your family does.

  • If your doctor is ok with it, work with a Registered Dietitian to try a Blenderized diet, or Blenderized Tube Feed (BTF). Blending a serving of the family meal for tube feed use can let the whole family enjoy the same meal.
  • If your child or family member is interested in food, let them help with it! Eating foods is only a smart part of our overall interaction with them. Let your loved one help with gardening, grocery shopping, or cooking to stay involved.
  • Meals are an unavoidable part of life, so keep your loved ones involved in them. As kids grow into adults meals will be part of social gathers, work meeting, and holiday. While most people think of meals as a time to refuel, there is more and more grower research about the importance meals have on our society and our long term relationships with foods/nutrition. Kids should learn how meals work and how to hold conversations at the table.

Have you ever gotten a comment at a get together about what you should be doing to get you child to eat? Family and friends sometimes have a way of giving advice when it’s not asked for, or not even appropriate to your situation. In most cases they truly don’t understand the situation and need to be “educated”, as we say in healthcare, on whats going on. Educating a family member or friend on why your loved one can’t eat, or can’t eat enough, and why they have a tube feed can help prevent future issues. Communication is the key to good relationships!

family

How to Deal with Stress

Stress is a natural feeling in general, but can be excessive when you are a new parent dealing with a child who has a feeding tube. When you are stressed, it can be dangerous to not only yourself, but to your child as well because they can see that you are unhappy and that you are dealing with things that they might not understand. Your child might always come first for you, but it is crucial that you do take time for yourself because it can help make you a better caregiver for both your family!

The first step in reducing stress is to take time out of your day for yourself, which can easily be done by taking a bath, finding a quiet place to read a book, taking a nap while your child naps, or even do a little exercise. Many of these stress relievers do not have to cost any money, and can be done in your own home, and can even involve the kids! By taking a short walk, either alone or with the kids, you can reduce the amount of day-to-day stress that you may be feeling, and can help give you some fresh air and easy exercise.

The saying goes, “don’t stress the small stuff”, and it’s true! Many small things can irk you or make you feel like nothing will ever go your way, but it is important to find the positives in everything that you do. The more you let the small things go, and focus on the bigger picture, the happier you become and the less stressed you are! Your children will always look up to you as their role model, so it is important to teach them how to be happy and let the small things in life go. Focus on the happiness that surround you and your family!

Everyday Struggles

The life of a parent or child with a feeding tube can be a struggle, and there will always be challenges that both you and your child will face, both at home and in the public, but it is important to remember that everything happens for a reason, and that each situation that we are put in benefits us in some way, even if we don’t understand why at that particular moment in time.

There will always be difficulties that you face when you have a feeding tube, especially in the early stages when everyone is still trying to figure out what to do, the schedules and routines, and how to make your child the most comfortable. Many companies have started to make products that make your child feel as comfortable as possible, and make this process as easy as possible, especially when they are going to school or with their friends. Products like the G- tube pads, feeding tube backpacks, G-tube wraps and bands, and protective belts all ensure that your child’s stoma and tube are protected and secure, and it can give you relief knowing that your child is comfortable, protected, and happy!

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I hope all of these tips and positive reinforcements have helped relief any stress that you might have about feeding tubes, school and home life, and how to ensure that you and your family are happy and comfortable! This process is not easy, but there are ways to ensure that everything goes as smooth as possible, because there will always be hiccups in every situation, but you just have to look at the positives and see how each bump is a learning situation.

Tube Feeding Accessories 2.0

Every teenager wants to fit in but sometimes it isn’t easy when you have a feeding tube. However, most kids don’t even notice when one of their peers has a feeding tube because of new accessories and supplies that conceal the tube site, while still protecting it. If you read my last blog post about tubie accessories for kids, you probably wouldn’t be all too happy about potentially having a Hello Kitty or Superhero G-tube pad, but there are other supplies are age appropriate!

Many companies have recognized the fact that feeding tubes aren’t just for kids, because many teenagers and adults need them, so they have made G-tube accessories that are easily concealed under any type of clothing and will keep your tube safe! Although they don’t always come in a lot of cool and crazy designs, they do come in a variety of colors and sizes, perfect for every teenager or adult that wants protection and comfort.

G-Tube Wraps

Below is a G-tube wrap made by Gus Gear, which is a company that specializes in making comfortable wraps and G-tube gear that keeps the tubing secure. These wraps are great for kids, teenagers, and adults because they are adjustable and easily concealable underneath a shirt or dress.

Gus Gear uses accurate abdomen measurements to determine the perfect size for you, and these wraps are great for flexibility (especially in gym!) and are soft against the skin. A lot of companies might make similar products, but the blended fabric that Gus Gear makes the wraps from prevents any rashes or irritation to the skin, and easily secures the stoma, providing security and accessibility.

Gtube Wrap

For parents, the best part of these wraps are that they know that your child is growing, so they are expandable, and allow for 2-3 inches of expansion for growth, which is especially helpful when your child is going through puberty and constantly outgrowing clothes! For teens who want to match their wraps to their outfits, these G-tube wraps come in 12 different colors!

 

G-Tube Protective Belts

If you are looking for something a little thinner than the G-tube wrap, the G-tube Protective Belts are a great alternative that still provide the protection and flexibility that you need to move around and also protects your stoma. Many individuals have found ways to make their own from fabric and other materials, but if you aren’t crafty, then companies like Benik are the right way for you to go!

Gtube belt

Unlike the G-tube wraps, the belts have a protective “shell” that covers the stoma site completely, so if you’re more active and are want more protection, these might be better for you. These belts are great for all sizes, from preemies to adults, and you can customize your sizes based on your measurements. The protective belts are suitable for cecostomy tubes, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes (PEG-tubes), and gastrostomy-jejunostomy tubes (GJ-Tube)!

Ostomy Belts

Along with the G-tube belts, Benik also makes “Ostomy Belts” which are similar, but are attached to neoprene pouches that offer support and holds all equipment in place. Unlike the other belt, this one is specifically designed to be secure over the wafer dressings, and contains a leak-resistant bag as well.

Ostomy Bag

The “Ostomy Belt” also contains the “shell” covering to protect the stoma site as well, and comes in a variety of sizes based on your specific measurements. These belts are perfect for any size, from preemie to adult, so they are universally flexible and comfortable for any situation!

Emergency Feeding Tube Bags

It is important to always be prepared for any situation, and just like you would have a first aid kit, you can have your own emergency G-tube kit. Many people who make the emergency kits use small lunch boxes, small backpacks, or travel bags to have easy access to quick supplies. Because of their small size, you can keep them in their cars, in desk drawers at work, or just around their house where they can easily be accessed.

Below are some important items that you could put in!

  • Latex/Nitrile Gloves
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Spare G-tubes (2)
  • 2 x 2 Split Gauze
  • Spare Extension Tubes
  • Syringes (assorted sizes based on your needs)
  • Extra Bottles of Sterile Water
  • Cath Tip Syringes (assorted sizes)
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen
  • Scissors

I hope you love all of these cute, affordable, and comfortable accessories that are adaptable for all ages and sizes! If you are feeling super daring and crafty, I encourage you to try and see if you can make your own G-tube belts and wraps, and post pictures and comments below of your creations! Feel free to mix and match any of the emergency kit supplies. Comment below about supplies that you all have in your own G-tube Bags!

DIY Tubie Accessories for Kids!

Having a feeding tube as a child can be super scary, and even adults can be a little worried too, especially with the reoccurring though of how to make sure everything is properly stored, tasty, and that their child is happy. While talking to my friend the other day over coffee, her little girl who has a G-tube ran over to me and proudly lifted up her shirt to show me her “accessories”, aka her G-tube pad, which just happened to be Hello Kitty that day. If you’re unsure of what I’m referring to, G-tube pads are cotton fabric pads that are designed to fit beneath your child’s G-tube, preventing any friction that could arise, and it protects the stoma!

Kids love these pads because they have their favorite superheroes, cartoons, animals, and princesses on them! Below are just several of the pads that my friend has for her daughter!

Gtube pads pile

Now, if you’re like me and instantly took one look at these and thought to yourself, “how in the heck am I going to make these”, don’t be alarmed, because my friend has kindly given me a pattern and detailed instructions so that you guys can use to make all the G-tube pads that you would like!

Along with these super adorable G-tube pads, I have also found some other websites that have supplies for your child, like feeding tube backpacks, which are great to keep their G-tube and feeding bags in while they are playing!

For the winter months, or just the nightly bedtime routine, I have a tutorial for how to make footed pajamas for your child that has pockets perfect for G-tube access. All of these projects are very simple to make, and I am sure your child will love them just as much as you do!

 

How To Make a G-Tube Pad

Supplies:

  • Flannel – cut to approximately 2 ¾ – 3” circles (2 for each pad)
  • Terry Cloth or other absorbent fabric (cotton fleece, hemp, bamboo) and cut to the same measurement as the flannel. (1 for each pad)
  • Snaps or Velcro

**Depending on the age and size of your child, the circles could be bigger!**

Instructions:

Step 1: Lay your flannel circles right side facing up and place the absorbent circles on top.

Step 1

Step 2: Cut a slit through all 3 layers, straight up the middle of the circle about 2”. This may vary depending on the size you are making)

Step 2

Step 3: Stitch the 3 layers together and around the slit you just made. BE SURE to snip the corners of your stitching on the edges of the slit so the pad will lay flat!

Turn the pad right sides out. This can be a finicky process, so take your time!

Step 3

Step 4: Now that it’s turned right side out, it is time to stitch the layers together, so it is recommended that you pin the layers together when trying to sew it.

When you are sewing the outside, you can do a zigzag pattern around the edge to make it seem smoother and more neatly finished.

Once sewn, apply your snaps or Velcro!

Step 4

 

How To Wash the G-Tube Pads

Now that you’ve made all of those cute G-tube pads, the real question is how are you going to clean and store them all! To ensure that these pads have a long lifetime, it is recommended to hand wash them, or wash them on a gentle cycle with cold water.

When storing them, this is how my friend keeps just a few of hers (She has over 30!) This is a super great and genius idea to have them hanging like this so they can dry evenly, and keep them from filing up all of your drawers!

Gtube pads

  

Other G-Tube DIY Activities

If you are feeling adventurous, and want even more goodies for your child, feel free to check out these sources below that teach you how to make your own feeding tube backpacks and footed pajamas for bedtime!

Footed Jammies

DIY Feeding Tube Backpack

If making your own backpack is not your cup of tea, there are many companies that sell these backpacks pre-made, along with other great essential accessories for both you and your family!  Feeding Essentials is a great place to get Feeding Tube backpacks and “Line Tamers” which hold the IV, feeding, and monitoring tubes! Many of these items you can make yourself! I encourage that you step outside the box and see what you can create, and incorporate your whole family into the projects!

Do you have any feeding tube accessories that you or your kids love? Leave a comment below and tell us able!

What’s in Season for Summer & Garden Updates

Summer is finally here and the weather is heating up! Well, in the South it’s been heating up. We are officially hot. But, those warmer temperatures mean that there’s a new group of produce fresh for the picking! The farmers markets are in full swing with an abundance of fruits and vegetables ready to go on the grill or in your favorite dessert.

Getting a variety of fruits and vegetables is the key to any healthy diet. Filling your meals with produce that is in-season provides better flavor, offers more nutrition, and saves you money! Whether you are cooking, freezing, or pickling this fresh produce get it while you can!

Keep an eye for these in-season fruits and vegetables this June, July, and August:

Fruits:
Melons
Peaches
Plums
Nectarines
Blueberries
Blackberries
Raspberries
Cherries
Apricots

Vegetables:
Peppers (sweet and hot)
Artichokes
Eggplant
Okra
Corn
Cucumbers
Green Beans
Summer Squash
Fennel
Tomatoes
Zucchini

berries

 

Garden Updates

We moved into our first home this March and have been busy with outdoor projects! The house need landscaped, the downspouts need rerouted, and the tree need saved from vines and seedlings. We also have pollinators (multiple bees and wasps), but unfortunately most of them have made homes in our deck.

Equally important, after being in pots for 2 years, my berry bushes needed planted in the ground and we needed to build raised beds for our summer veggies! In the areas we live you are normally safe to start your gardens by the end of April.

We now have five blueberry plants <<we went a little overboard>>, three blackberry plants and two very questionable raspberry starters!

 

We put in three raised beds and have filled them with peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, beans, okra, cucumbers, summer squash, and one very large spaghetti squash.

 

Saving the best for last, we also discovered that we have wild black raspberries and blackberries along our tree line! The bad news is they are not contained, are full of vines, and are infested with biting red bugs! We found that out the hard way!

honey
Honeysuckle growing up our berries and into the trees!
wild
Black raspberries were the first to ripen up this year!

 

wild mess
This picture doesn’t do justice to the wild mess that our treeline is! Containing and thinning these berries will be summer and fall project/workout.

Cleaning G-tubes 101

Cleaning a g-tube and stoma (the opening where the tube enters the skin) for the first time can be really intimidating! It is also a little tricky if you don’t have the proper tools or methods. The goal of cleaning is to ensure that any remaining food, or formula, in the tube has been removed and that the stoma is clean and healthy. It’s sometimes hectic to remember everything that needs to be done for the tube, so here are so simple and easy steps to clean both the tubes and the stoma and to help you save time and any potential frustration that you might have.

I have personally tried these tips with my own syringes that I bought, and I did some experiments with how long it took me before and after I used the tips, and it significantly lowered my level of frustration (those things are super finicky & my OCD came out!).

 

Cleaning the Stoma

As the saying goes, “less is more”, and when it comes to cleaning the tube site this is the case. All that is needed is mild soap and warm water! It’s that simple! Site cleaning should be done at least once a day, but may need to be done more often if the tube is having drainage. Antibiotic ointments and hydrogen peroxide should NOT be used routinely.

Step 1: Wash your hands with soap and water.

Step 2: Use a clean wash cloth, cotton balls, or Q-tips to wash the skin around the tube with mild soap and warm water. Sometime with tube needs to be gently turned or rotated to get to the hard-to-reach places.

Step 3: Rinse the area with clean water. Any left over soap can irritate the skin.

Step 4: Dry the skin and tube thoroughly with a clean towel.

Try to work this into your wake-up/bed-time routine by cleaning your stoma anytime you shower or anytime you brush your teeth or gums. Oral care is still very important to prevent fungal infections and bad bacteria from getting into the lungs.

Remember: Keep skin clean and dry to prevent skin irritation and skin breakdown!

One of the most important things to keep in mind about the stoma is that the body wants to “heal” itself and is very good at it. The body begins to heal by producing new tissue, called granulation tissue, that fills in the wound. It is crucial to prevent any friction, from cleaning to roughly to bumpers or dressing that are too tight, that can cause skin breakdown. Also, keeping drainage under control can help to prevent hypergranulation, beefy red, raised tissue.

To learn more about skin issues and potential treatments, check out The Oley Foundation’s page written by a nurse that specialized in skin care.

stoma

 

Daily Skin Site Checks

Checking in on your stoma daily can help catch any issues early and get them treated! If you seen any of these issues, call your home health nurse or managing physician immediately.

-Look for skin redness around the tube (greater than 1/2 inch)
-Look for new or increased drainage or leaking
-Check for discomfort or pain
-Look for swelling or cracks to the skin

 

Cleaning the Tube Extensions

Some of these methods may work better than other for you, so mix and match with what you think is best! All methods should start with clean hands and clean supplies though.  Remember to wash your hands with soap and water before cleaning the tube.

  • Each day soak the tube extension and syringes in a skin with warm water and dish soap. Soaking for 30 minutes will help for the stuck-up parts. Then rinse with clean water and air dry.
  • Roll the tube between your fingers, or use the handle of a knife – not the blade- as if you are curling a ribbon, to get any leftover food or crud out, and then use a cleaning brush to scrub the extensions and tubes.
  • Use an endoscopy brush or a cleaning brush to help remove any residue. These brushes fit regular extensions, bolus extensions, 4’ Kangaroo tubing extensions, and any suction tubing.
  • Pro Tip: Using a tooth brush can make cleaning ENfit connectors easier.
  • Pro Tip: Once a week, do a deep clean by soaking the extension tube and syringes in full strength vinegar for 20 minutes to get rid of any build up. Rinse the tube with warm water and allow it to air dry.

 

Cleaning G-Tube Pads

Many families that have small children with feeding tubes use these G-tube pads because they cover and protect the stoma. They are usually made of soft cloth or fabric that has been sewn, so when washing them. It is recommended that they are hand washed or put in the washer on gentle.

A friend of mine that has a child who has a G-tube sent me this picture of how she washes and hang dries her g-tube pads (GENIUS!) and this is how she stores them.

Gtube pads

**Be on the look out next week for a post about these g-tube pads, and a pattern that you can use to make them yourself!!**

 

round sponge

Along with the G-tube pads, she has also used Equate brand Round Applicator Sponges when she has issues with the g-tube leaking because it seals the hole up nicely by pulling the g-tube balloon up into the hole! As with all drainage pads, the more they are changed, the less skin irritation will happen from their contents.

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I hope cleaning tips are helpful for you and your families, and that they help to cut down on the overall cleaning time. I’d love to hear what other tips you have found helpful!

Be on the look out for next week’s “Tubie Tuesday” post on accessories for tubies!

 

 

 

Blenderized Diets 101

What are Blenderized Tube Feeds?

Blenderized Tube Feeds (BTF), also called blenderized diets, are homemade tube feed formulas made by blending foods and liquids together. This is normally done using a high powered blender. These homemade formulas can be the sole source of nutrition or used in combination with other commercial formulas.

Since BTF are made from real, whole foods, they can be made to fit any dietary needs such as disease related diet restrictions, allergies, intolerance, or personal food preferences (vegan, vegetarian, etc). The fact that the person making the blend can control every thing that is and isn’t added is one of the main reasons BTF are becoming so popular!

Blenderized Tube Feeds are NOT:
-Puree diet, full liquid, or straw diet
-Juicing
-Blending up pizzas and burgers

Blenderized Tube Feeds may contain:
-Table foods/liquids
-Baby foods
-Commercial formulas

Who will tolerate BTF best?

BTFs are not for everyone. Some individuals will tolerate them better than others based on the medical conditions. They can also be very overwhelming to individuals that are new to tube feeds. 

BTF are best tolerated by those that:

  • Are medically stable
  • Have a feeding tube in their stomach (PEG tube)
  • Have a matures tube site/stoma, healed with no infection
  • Have a tube diameter > 10 French (>14 French diameter preferred)
  • Have a good immune system
  • Can tolerate bolus feeds
  • Have the support of their medical team

If you’re new to or interested in starting a blenderized diet, working with a Registered Dietitian will help to make you’re transition smooth and safe! It also helps to have your physician on board.

Living Life to the Fullest with a Tube!

As famous author Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple”, and in the case of enteral nutrition he’s exactly right! To those new to the world of feeding tubes words like G-tube, J-tube, blenderized tube feeding, “tubies”, stoma, etc. can be overwhelming. But, have no fear, I have done my research and have provided you and your family with some of the best tips and tricks of the trade so that any complication that you come across seem like a piece of cake!

To make it easy to navigate, I have divided all of the complications up, so you don’t have to keep scrolling, trying to find the issue that pertains to you most (which is one of my pet peeves). To ensure that the information is accurate and the best possible help to you and your families, I have gotten insight from several families in the Clemson, Seneca, and Anderson areas that have told me their feeding tube stories.

Family Meals and Feeding

One of the top issues, especially in families that have a child who is on tube feeding, is the fact that they often feel excluded because they aren’t eating the same things as their siblings. Although it sometimes might be difficult to avoid, especially if they have certain needs or dietary requirements, this can be tackled by trying to include them at the dinner table by feeding them the same foods, just varied by ingredients.

Some of the main ingredients to make family meals blender-friendly are ones that will thin the family meal enough that the blend will go smoothly through the feeding tube. This could be a juice, chicken broth, or an oil, such as sunflower, safflower, or sesame oils. Another ingredient that many individuals use to make the blenderized feedings smooth is to add milk (cow, soy, almond, etc.) or kefir to prevent the mix from getting foamy. Another trick that I have found that thins meals is to add canned fruit that has no added sugar or syrup. This adds fiber and more produce to their blend.

Also, keep in mind that eating the meal is only one of many interaction that we have with food. Children that are on blenderized feeds can stay involved by helping shop at the grocery store (example: picking out their veggies) and may be able to help with some of the meals prep, as appropriate.

Traveling with Tubies

We all love to take our kids and families out on the road, and see the sights, but sometimes it’s hard to travel and pack all of the necessities. The trouble is always not packing enough or packing too much, or just leaving something behind in the chaos.

Use the time before you leave for a trip to your advantage. Make a detailed list of what supplies need to be packed and list which bags they will be packed in. Plan for the worst, like misses flight or a traffic jam, and prepare yourself by having extra supplies and keeping them close by.

When flying, it is important to check TSA’s policies on medical supplies and items that are allowed. It is crucial to print out any labels for items/supplies that you have packed that could be potential issues with TSA’s policies, as well as print labels for the medical supplies bag because it would be a carry on. Your doctor can also provide a letter of necessity as well that can help with security.

Below is a packed carry on bag that a friend of mine provided me that she uses for her child who uses formula still.

Travel and TF supplies

Here’s What She Included:

  • Feeding Pump and Backpack
  • TSA/airline policies (printed)
  • Pump Charger
  • Full pump set (750 ml in a 500 ml bag)
  • Blue Puke Bags (you can never be too prepared!)
  • 4 extra cans of formula (just in case a bag gets lost)
  • 1 60mL bottle of sterile water
  • Med Syringes (5ml & 10mL)
  • 35 mL syringe
  • Extension Tubes
  • 2×2 Gauze
  • 60 mL cath Tip syringe
  • Emergency G tube Replacement Kit

As I was reviewing her bag, I also thought that Clorox wipes, hand sanitize, baby wipes, diapers, and plastic grocery bags might be helpful. Bring a document that summarized your tubies medical history, meds, emergence contacts, etc. can also be helpful. If for some reason you needed to go to the hospital all of the information you will need to know will be in one place.

I found that The Oley Foundation and the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation were also great websites that gave me lots of information about policies, and the supplies/items that any family would need to bring when on-the-go!!

School

Kids probably hate going to school for one reason, while their parents probably don’t like it for other reason. Either way, these are some tips to ensure the school day goes swimmingly!

Before enrolling your child into school, ensure that they have the proper handling procedures for your child, confirming that they understand how to use the equipment and have the training. This may including:

  • Clean hands before venting a child or attaching an extension set
  • Wear gloves when appropriate
  • Make sure that tubing is out of the way during toileting/diaper changes
  • Ensure that tube sites are not touched by students

The school should have written instructions for your child’s feeding schedule including formula type, volumes, periods of time, water flushes, etc. Make sure all the supplies are clean as well, and if they need to be stored in a cool temperature, provide a backpack or insulated ice pack. Talk to your child’s teachers as well, ensuring that they understand any allergies as well!

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I hope you and your family members can use these tips to reduce any unwanted stress or worry about any of the issues that you are facing. It is important to know that you are not going through this alone and that there are others dealing with the same things you are, and probably have the same questions you have, so feel free to comment any questions or concerns you have!