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Oxygen Therapy

Will My Child Need Extra Oxygen?

Some children with tracheostomies need extra oxygen. They may need it all the time or only when they are sleeping, sick, eating, or playing more actively. When your child is receiving oxygen, it’s important to use humidity with the oxygen to decrease the drying out of your child’s airway.

Alert - Smokling is a fire hazard with oxygen use.

Smoking is a fire hazard with oxygen use. Do not smoke or allow anyone else to smoke in the area where your child is using oxygen.

It’s important to know how much oxygen your child usually needs. Depending on your child’s need, they may receive oxygen in different ways.

Types of oxygen support include:

  • Trach Collar/Mask
  • Artificial “nose” with oxygen port
  • Ventilator
  • Resuscitation/ambu bag

Types of Home Oxygen Therapy Systems

Oxygen Concentrator

A concentrator is a machine that makes oxygen by taking in air from the room and separating the oxygen. You will have a stationary (not movable) oxygen concentrator at home.

  • Your home oxygen concentrator may be louder than what you are used to hearing in the hospital.
  • Your child may be on different oxygen flow on your home equipment than they were in the hospital.

Oxygen Cylinder or Tank

Your child will use portable oxygen tanks for travel outside of the home or as a backup during a power failure. Your oxygen tank will have a gauge that will tell you how much oxygen is left in the tank. How long the oxygen tank will last depends on your child’s oxygen flow rate and the size of the oxygen tank.

Always check your portable tanks before leaving home to be sure that you will have enough oxygen while traveling. Plan to bring extra in case of unexpected delays.

Oxygen with gauge

A portable oxygen tank with gauge attached at the top.

Oxygen gauge full

A portable oxygen tank gauge showing the tank is full.

empty oxygen gauge

A portable oxygen tank gauge showing the tank is empty.

When going to a doctor’s appointment, tell the clinic staff that your child is on home oxygen therapy. You can use their supply of oxygen during the appointment so that your supply from home does not run out.