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Tube Feeding School Tips

If your child requires tube feeding, the thought of going back to school could be stressful. Here are some helpful tools and tips to help you get ready for a smooth start!

What to do before school begins

  • Review your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan
  • Provide an updated order from your physician or provider to the school
  • Meet with the teacher and school nurse so they understand the type of tube your child has, how to use the supplies, and discuss their feeding plan
  • If their formula requires mixing or special directions for use, provide these to the school nurse
    • Powdered formulas: 4 hours or less
    • Ready to use (out of a container): 12 hours or less
    • Any unused formula needs to be refrigerated and used within 24 hours
  • Discuss potential complications and the importance of flushing the tube after each feeding. Do not assume they understand the risks of not adhering to the safety guidelines.
  • Update your emergency contact information if needed

Be Prepared

  • Gather any supplies/formula needed the night before to avoid a hectic morning
  • Emergencies happen, so make sure the school has extra supplies on hand to avoid a panic call:
    • Formula, syringes, tape, extension sets and a back-up button or G-tube if one is available
    • For those that use a feeding pump, include a gravity bag to use if the pump loses power
    • Extra clothing

Helpful tips if your child uses a feeding pump at school:

  • Charge the pump the night before.
  • Remember to bring an extra feeding bag, charger, and backpack, along with the pump.
  • If using a backpack, prime the pump feeding bag upside down to reduce the air in the tubing, this will reduce pump alarms.

Increasing Awareness

Empower your child and make sure they are aware of their feeding plan.

Consider partnering with the teacher to educate the class on what tube feeding is and the importance of nutrition.

Download the Back to School Checklist