Tracheostomy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Overview and General Information
for Families, Schools, and Health Care Providers

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from parents and patients about Tracheostomy’s.   
You can print out a PDF of our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) by clicking on the green button below, or share this webpage with your Health Care Providers, Schools, Day Care Facilities, Family Members or anyone who might have questions about your child’s Tracheostomy.
You can also visit our HELPING YOUR CHILD PAGE  to view videos on how to care for your child’s trach, or click on the purple button to visit our YouTube Channel.

Tracheostomy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where do I go to learn more about how to change or suction my child’s tracheostomy?

You can use your own cell phone and point your phone’s camera at the following QR codes we have made that will bring you to short 3-5 minute instructional videos that will teach you all you need to know about

  1. How to change my child’s tracheostomy?
  2. How to suction my child’s tracheostomy?
  3. How to change the ties around my child’s tracheostomy?

 Please view them, give us feedback on other QR codes that you might find helpful, or ask us a question!

These videos are available in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic!

How often do I need to change the trach?

This really depends on where you live, the customs and resources there, and what your own health practitioner tells you.  In the US, many practitioners recommend changing the tracheostomy every two weeks or so, but the most important thing is to keep the track clean both externally and internally and to be sure you know how to suction it and keep it from getting plugged or obstructed.

There will be an upcoming article by the International Pediatric Otolaryngology Group (IPOG) reflecting the points of consensus and diversity of care regarding children with tracheostomies and home care coming out soon!

Can my child go to school with the trach?

That depends on your child’s school so reach out to them early and ask them!

COVID-19 Questions

Check out our COVID-19 FAQs for answers.

Will my child be able to speak and/ or eat with the tracheostomy?

That depends on why your child needs his or her tracheostomy.  If it is because of prolonged intubation and the development of subglottic stenosis or a scar below the vocal cords and above the tracheostomy, then your child may not be able to be heard until after a surgery called an airway reconstruction opens the airway.  If your child needs a tracheostomy for other reasons, he or she may be able to eat and speak quite well….  But talk to your doctor and ask him or her!

Will my child’s tracheostomy eventually come out?

As long as your child does not need to be on a ventilator and is neurologically healthy to the point where he or she can breathe, eat, and swallow, then, eventually, almost every child’s tracheostomy comes out! (Often, we need to do some surgery to open the airway to allow for this.)

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