October 11, 2020 scarwoundcentre

Guide in Securing the Cannula in Infants and Children

An infant or small child who needs oxygen treatment often uses a nasal cannula. If you have cared for one, you’d know how difficult it is to keep it in place. 

Most children tend to pull or even chew off their cannula especially when it isn’t secured. This is why you need to have something that is strong enough to hold their nasal cannula securely in its place. Though saying this, a child’s skin is sensitive and delicate hence you must always consider finding and using a mild solution to secure it.

Nasal Cannula

A nasal cannula is a device that is used to help deliver supplemental oxygen to a patient. It consists of a clear tube wherein it is split into two small tubes, called prongs which are placed in the nostrils on one end while the other end connects to a oxygen device such as an oxygen tank or oxygen concentrator. You can usually see an adult nasal cannula worn by patients at a hospital but they are also commonly used by infants in the neonatal intensive care units where premature newborns often have underdeveloped or “weak” lungs. These children can require oxygen treatment frequently and they often go home with an oxygen delivery system and nasal cannulae when they leave the hospital.

The Significance of Oxygen Therapy

Supplemental oxygen therapy is an essential part of the overall treatment program of a child who is prescribed oxygen by a physician. For children that have severe cases of lung or heart disease, acquiring extra oxygen can make a lot of difference for them from getting back at the hospital and living life at home. Therefore it is essential to maintain their oxygen flow as instructed by their physician. This can be a problem for parents and caregivers as ensuring the oxygen nasal cannula stay’s in place is their responsibility.

Security VS Safety

It’s really difficult to secure a nasal cannula on an infant or toddler’s face. For them, it automatically becomes something irritating, or something to pull by their moving hands. Using a soft gauze alone to secure it isn’t very effective as not only will it nott work but also won’t stay in place long enough. It is important for caregivers and parents to look for ways so that infants and children won’t be able to dislodge it with their hands due to its importance.

Though heavy straps and tapes can secure a cannula, these kinds of attachments can be very uncomfortable and sometimes even painful for children. They may not be able to adapt to wearing these bulky adhesives and devices.

In addition, most of the bindings and adhesives irritate the sensitive and delicate skin of newborn babies. They are more likely to develop a rash or even a fungal infection on the face when worn for a long time. If this occurs, it can be very painful and uncomfortable to treat them as the oxygen is still required whilst you are trying to promote an environment where the skin can heal.

HyTape Assures Security and Safety

For many who have tried HyTape, they have learned that it is an excellent choice for providing both security and safety in securing a nasal cannula to children. Also known simply as ‘Pink Tape’, HyTape has zinc oxide and latex-free adhesive that is soothing and gentle on delicate skin.

HyTape can withstand even the busiest tiny hands while at the same time being able to come off without damaging or tearing the skin. Babies and children can take their regular bath because HyTape is washable and waterproof. It also allows the dressing to become occlusive as it is able to endure secretions such as saliva, baby food, and vomiting.

HyTape can be used for a long time so you don’t have to worry about applying and reapplying the tape all the time. As a matter of fact, the Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease Foundation recommends HyTape for securing nasal cannulas as it is perfect for long term use.

How to Use HyTape in Securing Nasal Cannula For Infants and Children

First, make certain that a correct nasal cannula has been prescribed by a healthcare professional to your infant or child as just basing it on their age or weight may not ensure a comfortable fit.

The nasal tubes(prongs) must fit comfortably to their nostrils. It must not take up the whole space but just be enough to have a room for oxygen and air to pass through when the nasal cannula is placed. Put the nasal prongs in the infant’s nose and extend its tube behind their head. Then, lightly tighten both the tubes together so that it encircles their head comfortably. After it is in place, place a piece of HyTape on either side of their face. Check if it’s securely in place by gently pulling the tubes along towards the nose. If you need to place additional tape, determine areas that don’t have hair. 

If you’re caring for a child who uses supplemental oxygen via nasal cannula, please visit our website for further information.

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