Oxygen Therapy and your child

Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.

What is oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy is oxygen given to your child via nasal prongs, facemask or Airvo/Optiflow.

Why does my child need oxygen?
Your child may need oxygen if they are not maintaining their oxygen levels on their own or because your child has to put more effort into their breathing.

How long will my child need it?
Every child is different; some children may need it longer than others but it is usually needed for a couple of days, although it is gradually weaned down as their condition improves.

How is oxygen therapy given?

Nasal Prong
Short soft prongs that sit just inside your child’s nostril, up to 2 litres of oxygen can be given via these.

If your child needs any more than 2 litres of oxygen they may need to wear a facemask. This is a mask that will cover your child’s nose and mouth and is secured with a band around the head. If the medical team notice that your child is developing any of the following:

• Increasing breathing problems
• Your child’s oxygen levels are not increasing

The decision may be made to put your child on to Airvo or Optiflow.

Airvo or Optiflow
It is a way of giving children warmed and moistened oxygen via prongs that sit in the child’s nose compared to normal oxygen which his cold and dry. It provides the lungs with a small amount of pressure when the child breathes in, meaning the child can take in more oxygen while using less effort and energy. In babies or younger children these prongs are secured to the face with stickers,
whereas in older children it is secured around the back of their head with a band. The prongs are attached to a machine that will monitor an exact amount of oxygen and amount of pressure being delivered. These can be increased and decreased depending on your child’s condition. As they get better the amounts of oxygen and pressure your child is receiving will be reduced gradually until it is turned off.

When can my child go home?
Your child needs to have a nap or sleep without oxygen. Their oxygen saturations need to be within normal limits.

What do I need to do as a parent?
• Inform staff if facemask or prongs are not on the face properly.
• If you notice any sore areas on your child’s face or ears, please inform staff. DO NOT use any creams or ointments on your child’s face without checking with the medical team as some creams cannot be used while your child is receiving oxygen.
• Your child will be attached to a monitor. Please inform staff if this monitor is alarming but please try not to panic as these machines are particularly sensitive to movement etc.

Contact Telephone Numbers
Ward 4 01908 996 368
996 367
996 369

Ward 5 01908 995 889
996 375
996 377

References can be supplied for this information contained within this information if required from the Specialty Dept/Author.