Image by eszter
Jenna went through a phase where she complained about riding in her car seat because it was “owie.” On closer examination, we discovered that the five-point harness of her car seat pushed and rubbed at the g-tube site. On extended trips, this would result in redness and inflammation around her g-tube that I’m sure was not comfortable for her.
After speaking with a genius nurse about our situation, we came up with an idea for cushioning the site. Very simply, we took a 3 x 4 cushioned, non-stick sterile gauze pad, folded it in half and snipped it to cut a slit in the center. (A dressing sponge might work too). We then slipped her g-tube button through the center hole, so that the gauze pad surrounded the button and created a cushioned barrier between her skin and the button. Gentle or sensitive skin medical tape can be used around the edges to secure the pad to the skin, but we found that when she was seated in her carseat, this wasn’t a necessity. Although the pad might spin and turn with the button, it stayed between her skin and the button just fine and we avoided the pulling “ouchiness” of later tape removal.
At the first sign of any redness and irritation developing around her g-tube site, we apply a thin layer of Calendula Cream from California Baby, and it usually clears up within a day or two. The calendula cream also helps when her button gets “stuck” against her skin and doesn’t freely turn. Again, we just apply a thin layer of cream, pushing some under the edges of her button, and instantly the problem is solved (other lotions or ointments would probably also work for this too, but we find that calendula cream works so well for so many things that we don’t need to store multiple products. And I’m all about simplifying the supplies – we’ve got enough as it is!
P.S. Jenna seems to have outgrown this problem. We don’t notice redness when we travel anymore and she doesn’t complain. Our guess is that the buckle doesn’t hit her in the same place since she’s gotten bigger. One less problem on the list = one happy mamma!