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Tips and Tricks for Managing Feeding Tubes and Buttons

On our Facebook page recently, we asked parents and caregivers how they keep their kiddo from pulling out their tubes or buttons. So when we saw that the parent of a kiddo getting a g-tube soon is looking for advice in this topic, we went to our most reliable experts – PHS clinicians – and posed this question to see what they suggested, in addition to the great advice we saw on the Facebook page.

We learned about a few products and tricks that can make tube and button life easier for you and your kiddo – any other advice to parents in this situation? Share the tips here!

What Works Best for Keeping Kids from Pulling on Their Feeding Tubes or Buttons?

  • We do onesies but don’t buckle the flaps as I need full access to his site day and night and to the meds. We pin to clothes so it doesn’t pull against the site and irritate it more – we never leave his tummy bare so that helps.
  • Onesies! We buy in big sizes (son is 3 1/2) – you can find larger sizes online
  • There are protective belts available that go around the child’s abdomen and cover the G-tube. – Krystal Culliton, PHS respiratory therapist
  • A lot of patients use the Flexitracs to keep the button in place, and it seems to do a good job of stopping kids from pulling on it as the tube and extension stay in place.” – Melanie Swenson, Accreditation & Patient Safety Coordinator
  • Onesies seem to work the best for our smallest kiddos. For toddlers, Grip-Loks are by far the most common at this time. For some of my older kids, I have worked with them to get longer extensions so they can feed it through their clothes.

There are also button buddies that can be bought online. I could see it becoming more of a part of a kiddo if they are able to pick out cool colors and patterns for their button buddy. The biggest concern, with any of these options, is to make sure all tubing is secured away from the head/neck area. We have many kiddos who toss and turn in bed and occasionally get their tubing wrapped around their head/neck. – Rachael Halverson, PHS registered dietitian



Originally published: July 15, 2014