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|Tube Feeding Tips: Backpack For Small Child|
Backpack for Small Child
My son is on G-tube [or enteral] nutrition. In addition to night feeds, we often need to pump feed him during the daytime. Getting an active toddler to wear the backpack can be challenging. We were using the backpack supplied by our insurance carrier. While it worked, because my child is so very small, it had many shortcomings.
After much experimentation, I have found something that works really well for us. I purchased a child’s CamelBak MiniMule hydration backpack. These are made for holding water during sports, while biking, etc. With very little modification (removal of the bladder), I was able to make this accommodate a Zevex pump and feed bag.
Because the clip goes across his chest instead of his waist, it is much more secure for an active tot. Also, it fits better because the CamelBak is narrower and more contoured to his little body. Again, I am sure the backpacks work fine for older/larger children, but this CamelBak is perfect for my small child.
One other lesson we learned the hard way: with the backpack, we were routing the feed tube to his G-tube from the bottom of the backpack, which is how I thought it was designed. We routed the tube from the bottom of the backpack to the bottom of his shirt, then up to the G-tube. It was not very noticeable. However, a running child can easily catch the tube on playground equipment, household furniture, etc. (Yes, we did this and completely pulled out the button!) With the CamelBak, the tube comes out of the top of the pack, then I run it into his shirt at the neck, and down to his button. There is much less opportunity for the tube to be snagged!
Editor’s note: We have also heard from adults who have adapted CamelBaks to accommodate their pumps and bags. There’s a discussion on the Oley forum about this, at www.inspire.com/kkoeppe/journal/tube-feeding-and-style/
LifelineLetter, March/April 2012