View Full Version : Going for the vent

04-07-2009, 11:34 AM

My son is now going to be 9 months old and has been on tracheostomy since January end. In the past few days, he has started to pull thermovent and throw it away. It has become his favorite game. Sometimes, he also tries to go for the trach tube. I'm so scared. I'm unable to hold his hands all the time in order to prevent it. Not sure how to handle this. Please advice.


04-07-2009, 12:11 PM
Sam used to throw his thermovent all the time, we used a piece of cotton tape attached to the thermovent, then with a safety pin, fastened the other end of the tape to the shoulder of his shirt (you could also use those things you attach to a pacifier, I suppose) - that way, when he threw the thermovent, it just swung on it's tape.We would then calmly replace it without batting an eyelid (that way ignoring the behaviour) If you draw attention to it, they begin to think it's a game and do it all the more. It's a phase that most of our kids seem to have gone through and they do get bored with it in time. Scary though it is, it's best to try and just keep replacing the valve and trying not to make a big deal out of it.

Good luck

04-07-2009, 01:44 PM
Gabriel throws his thermovent off, too. He's also tried to pull his trach out, but the pressure he put on his airway caused him to cough so severely that he hasn't tried that trick again. We just stopped using the thermovent, for now. I do try to put one on him each day, but if he pulls it off, I don't replace it. Eventually, he'll get tired of this game, but it's so frustrating. Try Julie's suggestion and see if it works. Good luck!

04-08-2009, 08:19 AM
Julie has given good advice. The more you react the more fun the game is. Keep a spare trach handy and if he does manage to pull one out, replace it calmly. Odds are that he won't like the results and will stop pulling on the trach. :hug: Karen

04-08-2009, 05:41 PM
Thermovent flinging was a sport in our house too, then taking off the vent hose at every opportunity (particularly bed time), then undoing his tapes and pulling his trach tubes out as a method of delaying going to sleep. His record was 7 times in one evening. It was scary at first, but it went on for a few weeks and eventually became REALLY annoying! I second that keeping your reaction to a bare minimum is vital in order to reduce the length of time he goes through this stage. Any reaction - fright, anxiety, anger - will make it meaningful for him and he will continue. My son stopped when my partner and I managed to keep our cools for a week. One would take over from the other at bedtime when it was becoming too much. We also reduced the length of his afternoon nap so he was more tired come bedtime and he zonked more quickly.

Good luck. This is a really crappy stage, but very normal.

04-08-2009, 06:11 PM
I am lucky we haven't gone through and probably will not go through this stage since Emma is so inactive. But I do know lots of kids who have. I agree with what has been said, just try to play it low and not give the attention to him, just pop it back on.

Another suggestion I do have is when he isn't in site of you say when asleep at night or when napping, keep a pulse ox on him, just in case he does grab at and pull the trach out. That way you can get a warning if he pulls it out and can't breath. The alternative to not putting one on just scares me to think about.