Caregiver Tips for Tube Feeding A Child At School

Two out of every five patients with feeding tubes are children, so the question of how best to tube feed at school is an important one.

The most essential thing a parent or caregiver can do is start a conversation. First, they need to inform the school of the child’s needs, and get those needs spelled out in very specific levels of detail in an IEP or 504 plan. Secondly, they need to talk with the child to see how wide or how small of a circle of people the child wants to be involved in their feeding routines. It’s important to include the child in the process.

School officials also need to be instructed on safe handling of tube-feeding supplies. They need to clean their hands before venting a child and wear gloves when appropriate, among other measures. And both school officials and the child should discourage other students from touching tube-feeding supplies or the tube site.

It’s also important for parents and caregivers to clean and clearly label supplies they send to school – and write down instruction on volumes of food to be fed, times for feedings, and so on. If a parent or caregiver is sending a venting tube to stay at school, they need to discuss how to clean it with a school nurse, aide or staff.

For more information, go to Tube Feeding at School from the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.