Special Needs Sunday: Cushioning g-tube site

17 Aug
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!


Posted by on August 17, 2008 in Jenna, Parenting tips, Special Needs


2 responses to “Special Needs Sunday: Cushioning g-tube site

  1. Bonnie Sayers (autismfamily)

    August 17, 2008 at 4:39 am

    That calendula cream from CA baby is what I have used for my eczema. The only place I have found it at is Whole Foods.

    There was a time several years ago when a therapist recommended my son for a g tube. I got a video showing how to use them and options and joined a yahoo feeding group and when son was in hospital for dehydration the nurse brought me to a room to see a Mom whose baby had one. That really helped me through the situation.

    The Pediatrician agreed with me to put my son on meds (Risperdal) andwe went to childrens hospital for a consult and the GI Dr thought a g tube was not necessary.

    Glad to know there is a cream to help with the irritations.

  2. psychmamma

    August 17, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Bonnie –

    So glad you didn’t have to proceed with g-tube placement for your son! Hopefully his feeding and hydration problems are now a thing of the past.

    You know that you can order CA Baby stuff (including Calendula Cream) online? I love that they use minimal packaging and biodegradable packing materials. Depending on how far you have to drive to get to Whole Foods, the shipping cost might not be any more than the cost of gas right now, AND you save time. 🙂


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