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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Skin Care for Tracheostomy

Cleansing the area around the tracheostomy should be done at least twice a day or more as needed. Cleanse under the cannula and around the stoma with warm soapy water. Rinse the area with a wet cloth and pat dry. Be careful to not get water or soap into the tracheostomy. If this occurs, suction your child immediately.

Cleaning with Hydrogen Peroxide

If the area around the stoma is crusted, appears red, or has a foul odor, you may need to use half-strength hydrogen peroxide and water to clean the site.

You will need the following supplies:

  • Small paper cup
  • Sterile or distilled water
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton swabs

Follow these steps to ensure proper cleansing:

  1. Fill a small paper cup half way with hydrogen peroxide. Fill the remainder with sterile or distilled water.
  2. Dip two cotton swabs into the solution.
  3. Clean around the stoma with the first cotton swab. Clean the phlanges with the second swab. Repeat these steps if necessary, making sure you use a clean swab each time.

If your child's physician has prescribed a cream or ointment, apply it after the trach skin care is complete.

If your child has excessive trach secretions, place gauze trach dressing (trach sponges) under the trach to absorb the secretions.

If there is a rash or unusual odor from the tracheostomy site, or if the child's secretions have an abnormal color, call your pediatrician.