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Things to avoid when your child has a trach


Before your child had a tracheostomy (trach), the nose, mouth, and throat warmed the air he breathed. They also filtered it and put moisture in it.

Now that your child has a trach, air does not go through the nose, mouth, and throat. It goes directly into the lungs. Without the nose, mouth, and throat to warm, filter, and moisten the air, it is important to keep your child away from things that can irritate the lungs.

  • Try to keep your child away from odors that can bother his lungs, like strong perfumes, cigarette smoke, and cleaning products with strong fumes.
  • Try to avoid powders and heavy dust. Your child can breathe these in, and they increase your child's risk of getting an infection.
  • Avoid sand boxes. Sand can be dangerous if it gets into the trach.
  • Avoid fuzzy blankets, toys, and clothing. Your child can breathe in loose fibers from these fuzzy items.
  • Your child should not wear any clothing or jewelry that fits tightly around the neck or over the trach.
  • Your child should not play contact sports while he has a trach.
  • Avoid toys and other items with small parts that can fit into the trach. Your child could choke if they get in the trach.
  • Try to keep any water from entering the trach. Swimming is not allowed. Watch your child while he is in the bathtub to make sure no water gets into the trach.

Your child can do many activities, even with the trach. But following the guidelines above can help prevent health problems, including serious problems.


Please contact your health care team if you have any questions or concerns about your child's trach. A nursing coordinator is always here to answer your questions and address your concerns. Call 901-595-3300 and ask for the nursing coordinator. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 when the call connects.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).