Your child might have a condition that requires a tracheostomy in order to allow her to breathe. Sometimes a trach is a temporary situation, but it might have to be a permanent solution, depending on other details. That means that you need to know everything that you can learn about taking care of your child’s tracheostomy.
Practice Before Your Child Is Discharged
Before your child is discharged from the hospital, her doctor and nurses will give you a chance to practice cleaning and changing her trach yourself. Nurses will show you what to do and stay there with you as you practice as much as you’re comfortable practicing. It’s really important for you to be able to handle at least basic care of your child’s trach, even though it’s an intimidating task.
Ask as Many Questions as Possible
While you’re learning the process of taking care of your child’s trach, make sure that you ask as many questions as you think of at the time. No question is a silly question or is one that you shouldn’t ask. You need as much information about this as you can get, so it’s important that you understand everything that is even the tiniest bit confusing.
Skin Care Is of Utmost Importance
Every part of trach care is important, but skin care is really important because proper skin care can reduce the risk of infection and skin irritation. Keeping the area clean and dry is your best means of protecting the skin around the trach. You’ll need to clean the skin several times a day to keep mucus and other irritants from becoming a concern.
Don’t Feel Bad if You’re Worried about Doing This Yourself
Often parents and caregivers feel bad about having concerns about taking care of a tracheostomy on their own. Don’t feel bad if this process makes you feel uncomfortable or if you worry that you’re going to do it wrong. It’s normal to feel that way and it’s perfectly fine if you’re more comfortable having pediatric home health care providers handling the majority of the tasks associated with tracheostomy care.
If your child starts to have trouble breathing, even with the trach, or the trach falls out, it’s important to get emergency care immediately. There may also be other situations that constitute an emergency situation in your child’s situation. Her doctors and pediatric home health care providers can help you to stay alert for those situations.