Tracheostomy Care

"Do you know ..." is an educational series for patients and their families.

Changing the trach tube

Step-by-step instructions for changing your child’s tracheostomy (trach) tube.

Changing trach ties

Step-by-step instructions for changing the ties on your child’s trach.

Cleaning the trach tube

Step-by-step instructions on how to clean your child's trach tube.

Home care trach supplies

When your child is discharged, there are supplies that you will need to have in place in the home. Supplies are offered by St. Jude unless otherwise noted.

How to clean a trach site

Step-by-step instructions on how to clean a tracheostomy site

How to put on sterile gloves

Step-by-step instructions on how to put on sterile gloves.

How to suction a trach

Mucus collects in and around the trach tube. Some children can cough up the mucus, but they often require suctioning to help remove the mucus from the airway. This document offers step-by step instructions for suctioning your child’s trach.

How to use a trach humidity system

Your nose acts as a humidifier. When you breathe in, your nose moistens, filters, and warms the air before it enters your lungs. When a child has a tracheostomy (trach) tube, the air breathed in does not enter through the nose or mouth, and it is not warmed and humidified.

Things to avoid when your child has a trach

When your child took a breath before his tracheostomy (trach) was placed, the air was warmed, filtered, and moistened by the nose and upper airway. Now that he has a trach, the air bypasses the nose and upper airway and enters directly into the lungs. Without the benefits of the upper airway and nose, it is important to keep the air around your child free of things that can irritate the lungs.

Trach To-Go Bag

The Trach To-Go Bag contains everything that you will need to care for your child’s trach while you are away from home.


A tracheostomy is a small opening through the skin into the windpipe (trachea). This opening is called a stoma. A small plastic tube called a tracheostomy (trach) tube is placed through this stoma to help your child breathe.

Tracheostomy (Trach) glossary

Glossary of terms relating to a tracheostomy (trach).

Tracheostomy and a Passy-Muir valve

Speech is made by air that moves up from the lungs through the vocal cords. With a tracheostomy (trach), most of the air bypasses the vocal cords and exits through the trach tube. This alters or lessens the person’s ability to create speech.

When to call 911 if your child has trach problems

Call 911 if your child has one of the problems listed on this handout, and you cannot relieve it using the steps given here.