Protecting your child's airway while bathingPProtecting your child's airway while bathingProtecting your child's airway while bathingEnglishRespiratoryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Lungs;TracheaRespiratory systemNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+) Hospital healthcare providersNA2017-06-29T04:00:00ZReshma Amin, MD, FRCPC, MSc;Faiza Syed, BHSc, RRT;Tuyen Tran, RRT000Flat ContentHealth A-Z

 

 

Protecting your child's airway while bathing2920.00000000000Protecting your child's airway while bathingProtecting your child's airway while bathingPEnglishRespiratoryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Lungs;TracheaRespiratory systemNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+) Hospital healthcare providersNA2017-06-29T04:00:00ZReshma Amin, MD, FRCPC, MSc;Faiza Syed, BHSc, RRT;Tuyen Tran, RRT000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<figure><img alt="Woman holding child wrapped in a towel" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/trach_child_in_towel_EN.jpg" /> </figure> <p>​​You may bathe your child in a bathtub if you place a <a href="/Article?contentid=2922&language=English">heat and moisture exchanger (HME)</a> on the tracheostomy. The HME helps keep water out of your child’s lungs.</p><p>To prevent drowning, children with a tracheostomy tube must never immerse their tracheostomy tube under water.</p><p>Always stay with your child when they are near water. Make sure that the water line is well below your child's waist and avoid too much splashing. Use a non-slip bath mat and keep a <a href="/Article?contentid=2928&language=English">suction machine</a> close by.<br></p><h2>How do I bathe my child safely?<br></h2><p>When bathing your child or washing their hair, use a bib to prevent water from splashing into the tracheostomy tube.</p><p>Depending on your child’s age, you can wash their hair by:</p><ul><li>laying your child on their back in shallow water</li><li>having your child tip their head over the bathtub and washing their hair using a hand-held shower attachment or with water from a cup</li><li>laying your child on their back on the counter with their head tipped over the sink.</li></ul><p>Older children can shower by themselves if they take care to avoid any spray going into the tracheostomy. Again, a bib can help.</p><h2>How to handle emergencies while bathing your child</h2><p>If your child’s tracheostomy tube comes out or becomes blocked, you need to have a <a href="/Article?contentid=2956&language=English"> plan to deal with the emergency situation</a> quickly. If you are unable to solve the problem quickly, call 911.</p><h3>If the tracheostomy tube comes out and another tracheostomy tube of the same size is available</h3><ol><li>Insert a clean, lubricated tracheostomy tube in the stoma using the obturator.</li><li>Hold the tube in place with your fingers.</li><li>Pull out the obturator.</li><li>Replace the ties.</li></ol><h3>If the tracheostomy tube comes out but another same size tracheostomy tube is not available</h3><p>The stoma (neck opening) may stay open for a short period of time.</p><ol><li>If possible, reinsert the old tracheostomy tube.</li><li>If you cannot insert the old tracheostomy tube, insert the ½ size smaller tracheostomy tube and keep it secured in place until emergency help arrives. </li></ol><h3>If the tracheostomy tube becomes blocked</h3><ul><li>Remove the inner cannula if your child has one.</li><li>Use suctioning to try to remove the blockage. Saline may be helpful.</li><li>If a <a href="/Article?contentid=2944&language=English">manual resuscitation bag​</a> is available, use it.</li><li>If it is difficult to manually ventilate, remove the ties, remove the tracheostomy tube and replace it with a new tracheostomy tube.</li></ul> <a class="btn btn-primary" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/trachvent">Return to trach-vent learning hub</a> <br>Protecting your child's airway while bathingTruehttps://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=2921&language=Englishhttps://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=2919&language=English

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