Public tube feedings can be a daunting task at first. When not in the comfort of your home, there becomes more worry that something may go wrong or a mess will occur. But it’s important to remember that with practice it will become easier, and to give it time.
Older children with a feeding tube may feel uneasy being fed in public. Lifting their shirt to attach the extension tube may cause them some discomfort in public. An alternative to this would be to have the extension put in place before going out as this would bypass the issue of connecting the device while not at home. It is important to acknowledge your child’s feelings, so if they prefer privacy try to find an empty corner, a medical area, or even breastfeeding room to give them more seclusion. Being respectful of your child’s wishes is the best way to make them feel more comfortable about the feedings.
Do not let the embarrassment force you into feeding your child in the public restroom. If you wouldn’t eat there, why would you want your child to? If people are uncomfortable with the feeding tube and suggest using the bathroom, simply ignore their unhygienic, ignorant statements. People with disabilities have every right to receive the medical care they require in public.
Should any impromptu problems arise, it is good to have an emergency kit prepared. Some common items to carry are an extension set and/or adaptors, medications and syringes, and medical tape. Feeding pumps and sets may be necessary, as well as venting supplies. It is also good to have feeding and flushing syringes, and an extra button set. A blenderized meal, formula, or breast milk is also typical to pack. This list may not fully contain what is applicable to your feeding situation, so be mindful of what your child requires.
There are some alternative feeding methods to consider that may be easier. The feeding pump allows the child to be fed during practically any activity, and also has the benefit of being more inconspicuous. When feeding a child through a syringe, a closed syringe that you push every few minutes may be better than using an open one. This will reduce the risk of spillage and lessens the potential for messes. These are just a couple routes to consider that may make public feedings simpler.
If you would like to know more about how to work with your child’s feeding tubes in public, contact RSVP Home Care. They can help simplify the tube feeding process, easing some of the burden off your shoulders. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for yourself and your child by providing outstanding customer service. RSVP Home Care is located in Covington, Kentucky but offer services to all of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
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