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The medical staff taking care of your child will teach you how to take care of your little one’s stoma. There are a few differences between stoma care for an adult and for a child:
The position of the stoma
Your child's stoma may be positioned in a different place to where it would be if they were an adult. This is because your doctor will want to create as little scarring or change to their internal organs as possible so that the stoma can be potentially reversed in future (most stomas in young children are temporary).
For example, when a urostomy is performed in a baby, the stoma is usually created as close to the kidneys as possible so that the baby’s intestines do not need to be diverted. This could mean the stoma is formed on the baby’s side. In adults, the urostomy involves diverting the urine via the ileum (in the small intestine) through the abdomen (front of the body). Our What is a Stoma page provides information about the different types of stoma.
Your baby’s skin
Your baby’s skin is very delicate – it will need a lot of care and attention to make sure that it is not damaged by adhesive trauma, rubbing or contact with bodily fluids and to protect against infections. The skin around their stoma should be cleaned with plain water. Baby wipes, oils, powders and lotions should be avoided near the stoma as they can prevent the pouch from sticking properly, which could result in leaks and damage to your baby’s skin.
There are a number of products available that can stop your baby’s skin from tearing or being damaged when you are changing the pouch. These products are completely inert so will not cause irritation.
Most children are much more active than typical adults and babies tend to produce more faeces and urine, too (in relative height and weight terms). This means that a very flexible stoma pouch is needed, so it can be changed/emptied frequently but stay firmly in place whilst on. Rest assured that the pouch will not affect your child’s movement, although your choice of pouch may change as your baby progresses from crawling to walking.
Our Careline team can talk you through the different products from all brands which might suit your child and their changing needs. Give them a call on 0808 256 5400 (if you are a new customer) or 0800 318 965 if you already use our home delivery service and would like some advice. Or, find out about products we supply.