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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Hygiene

Bathing

A child with a tracheostomy should bathe in a shallow tub or be sponge bathed. He or she cannot take showers. Some precautions:

  • Do not leave your child alone in the bathtub.
  • Do not allow water or suds to get into the trach. If they do, suction immediately.
  • Do not use powders or aerosols around a child with a trach. They may enter the trach and cause breathing difficulty.

Shampooing

Wash your child's hair with him or her lying back. Support the back of the neck while you shampoo and rinse. Be careful not to allow water or suds to enter the trach. If this happens, suction immediately.

After bathing or shampooing is a good time to change the trach ties when they are loose and wet.

Dental Care

To help prevent infection, mouth care is especially important. Your child's teeth should be cleaned at least twice a day after the first teeth appear.

Clothing and Bedding

It is not necessary to purchase special clothing or bedding for your child. However, clothes that cover the trach, such as turtlenecks, should not be worn. Necklaces, strings, or fuzzy clothing and bedding should also be avoided. Fibers or beads may get into the trach and make it hard to breathe. If your child is going outside in the cold weather, tie a scarf loosely around his or her neck.