Collar care: Taking care of your child in a cervical collarCCollar care: Taking care of your child in a cervical collarCollar care: Taking care of your child in a cervical collarEnglishNeurology;Orthopaedics/Musculoskeletal;Other(diagnostic imaging, bloodwork, picc line, procedures�.)Child (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Head;NeckNervous system;Skeletal systemProceduresAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-06-16T04:00:00Z6.4000000000000071.60000000000001032.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Your child needs to wear a cervical collar for various reasons. Find out why they might need one and how to properly care for your child and their collar.</p><p>Collars are prescribed for various reasons including fractures, ligamentous injuries of the spine, torticollis, infections and tumors. Cervical collars immobilize and centrally align the neck, provide support and stability and help reduce pain while your child’s neck is healing. </p><p>There is a cost associated with cervical collars. Most extended health plans cover the cost. Make sure your health-care provider gives you a prescription. If there are any financial limitations, please contact your child’s health-care team. </p><p>The most common brands of rigid collars used at the Hospital for Sick Children are the Aspen and the Vista. </p><div class="asset-2-up"> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Aspen collar</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/CollarCare_CervicalCollar_Aspen.jpg" alt="Aspen brand collar showing front and velcro staps" /> </figure> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Vista collar</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/CollarCare_CervicalCollar_VistaByAspen.jpg" alt="vista brand collar showing front and velcro straps" /> </figure> </div><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Collars are prescribed for various reasons such as injuries or post-surgery. A well-fitted collar allows the neck to be centrally aligned.</li><li>Collars provide support and stability by restricting movement while the neck is healing from an injury or surgery.</li><li>Your child should wear the collar as prescribed. Some children can remove it to shower while others are required to wear it continuously. Your child’s health-care team will instruct you on how and when your child is to wear their collar.</li><li>Your child should see their health-care provider if they have increasing pain or headaches, new numbness or tingling or skin breakdown. </li></ul><h2>When to seek medical attention</h2><p>Contact the prescribing team if the collar is becoming worn down and/or the Velcro straps are becoming unstuck. Extra collar pads may be purchased separately. </p><p>Contact your child’s primary-care provider if your child has:</p><ul><li>increasing neck or back pain and pain medications are not helping</li><li>worsening or new skin breakdown</li><li>dizziness</li><li>increasing headaches </li></ul> Call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency department if your child has: <ul><li>new tingling</li><li>new numbness</li><li>new weakness in their arms or legs</li></ul><h2>Changing the collar pads</h2><p>When a collar has been prescribed to be worn 24/7, make sure there are at least two care providers available (you and one other person) while changing the collar pads. Having two care providers available helps to ensure the child does not move, providing ongoing cervical immobilization. </p><p>When you are changing the collar pads, assess the skin for signs of irritation or infection.</p><p>To find out how to change the collar pads, watch this video or follow the written instructions below the video:</p><div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/waohYLjKV8o?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><ol><li>Your child should be lying flat with their head in a neutral position and arms by their sides. Their head should not be turned to either side and should not be in an extended or flexed position.</li><li>Care provider 1 will ensure your child does not move and will maintain cervical alignment by placing both of their hands around the sides of the child's head and neck.</li><li>Care provider 2 will be changing the pads. Additional care providers may help to turn and wash your child, if needed.</li><li>Remove the front of the collar and slide the back of the collar off. <b>Care provider 1 should ensure your child does not move and maintains cervical alignment</b>.</li><li>Assess the skin for redness, breakdown and pressure sores. Clean front of the skin with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.</li><li>Remove the soiled front pad and attach a clean pad to collar. </li><li>Remove the soiled back pad and attach a clean pad to collar.</li><li>Log roll the child to their side. Your child’s arms should be at their sides, with palms resting on their thighs. Be careful not to twist or bend your child’s body or neck as you roll them.</li><li>Assess the skin for redness, breakdown and pressure sores. Clean the skin with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.</li><li>Logroll your child back to a supine position.</li><li>Replace the back of the collar by sliding it under the child’s head and neck and then replace the front portion of the collar. Attach the Velcro straps.</li><li>Tighten the collar straps and recheck for proper fit. See the above section called "Checking for a well fitted collar" for instructions.</li><li><strong>Vista collars only</strong>: Follow the additional instructions from your child’s health-care provider. </li></ol><h2>Safety tips for cervical collars</h2><p>If your child needs to wear a cervical collar for any reason, follow these safety tips: </p><ul><li>Wear the collar as prescribed.</li><li>Children in collars should not sit in the front seat of a car.</li><li>Adolescents in collars should not drive. </li><li>No sports or physical activities until your child is cleared by their health-care provider.</li></ul><h2>Checking for a well-fitted collar</h2><p>A well-fitted collar allows your child’s neck to be centrally aligned so that it can heal properly. </p><ul><li>The collar should be moderately snug on your child. Your child should not be able to move their head or neck, but they should not be in any pain.</li><li>The head should be maintained in a neutral position. It should not be turned to either side and not in an extended or flexed position.</li><li>The size or tightness of the collar may need to be adjusted due to changes in the amount of swelling. Reassess the fit once the child is sitting upright.</li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Collar fit</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/CollarCare.jpg" alt="boy in collar with instructions describing how to properly fit the collar" /> </figure> <p>Tips to check if there is a correct fit:</p><ol><li>The chin plastic piece should be flush (level) with the end of the chin. The chin dots on the chin pads should be hidden.</li><li>The Velcro extends past the mark and the front/back panel overlap.</li><li>The FlexTabs in the front and back of the collar should be bent to spread the support. </li></ol><h2>Skin assessment</h2><p>You will need to assess your child’s skin at least two times a day for:</p><ul><li>redness </li><li>break down (sore, raw skin resulting from too much pressure on the skin for a long time)</li><li>odours</li></ul><p>Wash your child’s face and neck at least once per day. Do not apply any moisturizers or powders to the skin.</p><h2>Cleaning the collar pads</h2><ul><li>The collar pads should be washed every 24 hours</li><li>Hand wash dirty collar pads with mild soap and water</li><li>Air dry pads </li><li>Do not machine wash or dry collar pads</li></ul>

 

 

 

 

Collar care: Taking care of your child in a cervical collar3874.00000000000Collar care: Taking care of your child in a cervical collarCollar care: Taking care of your child in a cervical collarCEnglishNeurology;Orthopaedics/Musculoskeletal;Other(diagnostic imaging, bloodwork, picc line, procedures�.)Child (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Head;NeckNervous system;Skeletal systemProceduresAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-06-16T04:00:00Z6.4000000000000071.60000000000001032.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Your child needs to wear a cervical collar for various reasons. Find out why they might need one and how to properly care for your child and their collar.</p><p>Collars are prescribed for various reasons including fractures, ligamentous injuries of the spine, torticollis, infections and tumors. Cervical collars immobilize and centrally align the neck, provide support and stability and help reduce pain while your child’s neck is healing. </p><p>There is a cost associated with cervical collars. Most extended health plans cover the cost. Make sure your health-care provider gives you a prescription. If there are any financial limitations, please contact your child’s health-care team. </p><p>The most common brands of rigid collars used at the Hospital for Sick Children are the Aspen and the Vista. </p><div class="asset-2-up"> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Aspen collar</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/CollarCare_CervicalCollar_Aspen.jpg" alt="Aspen brand collar showing front and velcro staps" /> </figure> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Vista collar</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/CollarCare_CervicalCollar_VistaByAspen.jpg" alt="vista brand collar showing front and velcro straps" /> </figure> </div><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Collars are prescribed for various reasons such as injuries or post-surgery. A well-fitted collar allows the neck to be centrally aligned.</li><li>Collars provide support and stability by restricting movement while the neck is healing from an injury or surgery.</li><li>Your child should wear the collar as prescribed. Some children can remove it to shower while others are required to wear it continuously. Your child’s health-care team will instruct you on how and when your child is to wear their collar.</li><li>Your child should see their health-care provider if they have increasing pain or headaches, new numbness or tingling or skin breakdown. </li></ul><h2>When to seek medical attention</h2><p>Contact the prescribing team if the collar is becoming worn down and/or the Velcro straps are becoming unstuck. Extra collar pads may be purchased separately. </p><p>Contact your child’s primary-care provider if your child has:</p><ul><li>increasing neck or back pain and pain medications are not helping</li><li>worsening or new skin breakdown</li><li>dizziness</li><li>increasing headaches </li></ul> Call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency department if your child has: <ul><li>new tingling</li><li>new numbness</li><li>new weakness in their arms or legs</li></ul><h2>Follow-up care</h2><p>Your child should wear the collar as prescribed. Some children may be required to wear the collar while showering and sleeping. Your child’s health-care team will tell you if this applies to your child.</p><p>The collar must be worn as directed by your child’s health-care team. Your child must wear the collar until they are reassessed in the neurosurgery clinic or at their primary care provider’s office. </p><h2>Changing the collar pads</h2><p>When a collar has been prescribed to be worn 24/7, make sure there are at least two care providers available (you and one other person) while changing the collar pads. Having two care providers available helps to ensure the child does not move, providing ongoing cervical immobilization. </p><p>When you are changing the collar pads, assess the skin for signs of irritation or infection.</p><p>To find out how to change the collar pads, watch this video or follow the written instructions below the video:</p><div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/waohYLjKV8o?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><ol><li>Your child should be lying flat with their head in a neutral position and arms by their sides. Their head should not be turned to either side and should not be in an extended or flexed position.</li><li>Care provider 1 will ensure your child does not move and will maintain cervical alignment by placing both of their hands around the sides of the child's head and neck.</li><li>Care provider 2 will be changing the pads. Additional care providers may help to turn and wash your child, if needed.</li><li>Remove the front of the collar and slide the back of the collar off. <b>Care provider 1 should ensure your child does not move and maintains cervical alignment</b>.</li><li>Assess the skin for redness, breakdown and pressure sores. Clean front of the skin with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.</li><li>Remove the soiled front pad and attach a clean pad to collar. </li><li>Remove the soiled back pad and attach a clean pad to collar.</li><li>Log roll the child to their side. Your child’s arms should be at their sides, with palms resting on their thighs. Be careful not to twist or bend your child’s body or neck as you roll them.</li><li>Assess the skin for redness, breakdown and pressure sores. Clean the skin with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.</li><li>Logroll your child back to a supine position.</li><li>Replace the back of the collar by sliding it under the child’s head and neck and then replace the front portion of the collar. Attach the Velcro straps.</li><li>Tighten the collar straps and recheck for proper fit. See the above section called "Checking for a well fitted collar" for instructions.</li><li><strong>Vista collars only</strong>: Follow the additional instructions from your child’s health-care provider. </li></ol><h2>Safety tips for cervical collars</h2><p>If your child needs to wear a cervical collar for any reason, follow these safety tips: </p><ul><li>Wear the collar as prescribed.</li><li>Children in collars should not sit in the front seat of a car.</li><li>Adolescents in collars should not drive. </li><li>No sports or physical activities until your child is cleared by their health-care provider.</li></ul><h2>Checking for a well-fitted collar</h2><p>A well-fitted collar allows your child’s neck to be centrally aligned so that it can heal properly. </p><ul><li>The collar should be moderately snug on your child. Your child should not be able to move their head or neck, but they should not be in any pain.</li><li>The head should be maintained in a neutral position. It should not be turned to either side and not in an extended or flexed position.</li><li>The size or tightness of the collar may need to be adjusted due to changes in the amount of swelling. Reassess the fit once the child is sitting upright.</li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Collar fit</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/CollarCare.jpg" alt="boy in collar with instructions describing how to properly fit the collar" /> </figure> <p>Tips to check if there is a correct fit:</p><ol><li>The chin plastic piece should be flush (level) with the end of the chin. The chin dots on the chin pads should be hidden.</li><li>The Velcro extends past the mark and the front/back panel overlap.</li><li>The FlexTabs in the front and back of the collar should be bent to spread the support. </li></ol><h2>Skin assessment</h2><p>You will need to assess your child’s skin at least two times a day for:</p><ul><li>redness </li><li>break down (sore, raw skin resulting from too much pressure on the skin for a long time)</li><li>odours</li></ul><p>Wash your child’s face and neck at least once per day. Do not apply any moisturizers or powders to the skin.</p><h2>Cleaning the collar pads</h2><ul><li>The collar pads should be washed every 24 hours</li><li>Hand wash dirty collar pads with mild soap and water</li><li>Air dry pads </li><li>Do not machine wash or dry collar pads</li></ul>Collar care: Taking care of your child in a cervical collarFalse