Having spent some time with babies and toddlers who use home oxygen therapy, and their carers, we realise that there are areas where some additional advice while using oxygen may be useful.
If you have to take a home oxygen therapy supply out and about then please make sure that the cylinder is safely secured when using a buggy or a pram. If you’re able to and the tubing is long enough and safe to do so, you can wear the cylinder bag on your back while you push baby. If this isn’t possible or practical then you can store the home oxygen therapy cylinder in the shopping compartment, making sure that it is secure and won’t move around too much.
DO NOT balance the home oxygen therapy cylinder on the top of the pushchair or place it in with baby.
As a baby or toddler using home oxygen therapy, playing does not have to stop because of the oxygen supply. To ensure everyone’s safety there are a few points to remember:
- Make sure the tubing does not present a trip hazard for anyone, the patient or their playmate
- If a cylinder is being used, make sure that it is secure and is not likely to fall or topple over
- Make sure that the tubing cannot get caught or trapped anywhere, causing a block in the oxygen supply to the patient
Before your child attends nursery or playgroup, please discuss this with your Healthcare Professional who will be able to offer valuable advice.
We like to help make these occasions as easy and as trouble free as possible. We can do this by providing oxygen at the nursery so there is always a supply there, just like at home. We also have Nurse Advisers and fully trained Healthcare Technicians who are more than happy to visit the nursery and provide training on all aspects of the home oxygen therapy supply for any member of staff. Please call our Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373580 and ask for this to be arranged.
Just because your child is on home oxygen therapy doesn’t mean they can’t participate in activities such as swimming. You will need to take an extra length of long tubing and walk alongside the swimming pool next to your child with their oxygen cylinder. Have a chat with your Healthcare Technician or call the Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373580 and ask for spare oxygen tubing and cannula that you can use just as a ‘swimming set’.
Pets in the home are seen as one of the family but extra care may need to be taken if a home is shared by both a family pet and a baby or toddler who uses home oxygen therapy. Some respiratory conditions could be made worse by the presence of pet hair and fibres and extra care is needed to protect tubing and equipment from being pulled and chewed. Speak to your healthcare team for more advice.
It is a great tradition to allow children to blow out candles on their birthday cake each year however, if the birthday child uses home oxygen therapy, some extra safety points will need to be remembered. DO NOT allow any naked flames of any size or kind near an oxygen supply at any time.
This does not mean the birthday or celebration is ruined; you can get very realistic battery operated candles which will look just as special on top of the birthday cake. Please remember to also take extra care when attending other children’s parties.
Baby massage has shown to be beneficial for a baby by helping them relax and be calm, so there is no reason why a baby who has to use home oxygen therapy should not be able to enjoy baby massage. Only use water based creams and lotions on the skin at all times.
As with baby massage, it is very important that there are no creams or ointments that contain oils or petroleum based products used on the skin of a baby or toddler that uses home oxygen therapy. Water based creams and lotions are perfect and will not cause any harm to delicate skin. If you are unsure what to use on your baby speak to your healthcare team or your local pharmacist.
This also applies in the summer months when a high factor sun cream is required – check the list of ingredients on the bottle to make sure there are no oils or petroleum based products included.
Sniffles and colds can cause blockage to the cannula that can restrict oxygen flow. Please make sure that any cannulae are cleaned regularly; if your baby or toddler has a cold, change them as often as you feel you need to, especially if they’re getting blocked.
If you have run out of supplies, check the type that is being used, call our Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373580 and we will happily send out some more in the post.