BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuEnteral nutrition - child - managing problemsEnteral feeding is a way to feed your child using a feeding tube. You will learn how to care for the tube and the skin, flush the tube, and set up the bolus or pump feedings. This article will help you manage minor problems that may occur with feedings.What to Expect at HomeEnteral feeding is a way to feed your child using a feeding tube. Enteral feedings will become easier for you to do with practice. Your health care provider will go over all of the steps you should follow to deliver the feedings.You will learn how to care for the tube and the skin, flush the tube, and set up the bolus or pump feedings.Sometimes a feeding does not go as planned, and you may have a minor problem. Your provider will go over all of the things that can happen and what you should do.What Should I Watch For?Follow your instructions on how to solve problems if they come up. Below are some general guidelines.If the tube is clogged or plugged:Flush the tube with warm water. If you have a nasogastric tube, remove and replace the tube (you will need to measure again). Use a special lubricant (ClogZapper) if your provider has told you to use one. Make sure any medicines are crushed properly to prevent clogging. If the child coughs or gags when you insert the nasogastric tube:Pinch the tube, and pull it out. Comfort your child, and then try again. Make sure you are inserting the tube the right way. Make sure your child is sitting up. Check the tube placement. If your child has diarrhea and cramping:Make sure the formula is mixed properly and warm. Do not use formula that has been hanging for feeding for more than 4 hours. Slow the feeding rate or take a short break. (Make sure you flush the tube with warm water in between breaks.) Check with your provider about antibiotics or other medicines that may be causing it. Start feeding when your child feels better. If your child has an upset stomach or is vomiting:Make sure the formula is mixed properly and warm. Make sure your child is sitting up during feedings. Do not use formula that has been hanging for feeding for more than 4 hours. Slow the feeding rate or take a short break. (Make sure you flush the tube with warm water in between breaks.) Start feeding when your child feels better. If your child is constipated:Take a break from feeding. Check with your provider about choice of formula and adding more fiber. If your child is dried out (dehydrated), ask your provider about changing formula or adding additional water.If your child is losing weight, ask your provider about changing formula or adding more feedings.If your child has a nasogastric tube and the skin is irritated:Keep the area around the nose clean and dry. Tape down over the nose, not up. Switch nostrils at each feeding. Ask your provider about a smaller tube. If your child's Corpak feeding tube falls out, call your child's provider. Do not replace it yourself.When to Call the DoctorCall the provider if you notice your child has:Fever Diarrhea, cramping, or bloating that does not go away Excessive crying, and your child is hard to console Nausea or vomits frequently Weight loss Constipation Skin irritation If your child has trouble breathing, call 911 or the local emergency number.Open ReferencesReferencesCollins S, Mills D, Steinhorn DM. Nutritional support in children. In: Vincent J-L, Abraham E, Moore FA, Kochanek PM, Fink MP, eds. Textbook of Critical Care. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 44.La Charite J. Nutrition and growth. In: Kleinman K, Mcdaniel L, Molloy M, eds. Harriet Lane Handbook, The. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 21.LeLeiko NS, Shapiro JM, Cerezo CS, Pinkos BA. Enteral nutrition. In: Wyllie R, Hyams JS, Kay M, eds. Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 89.AllVideoImagesTogA Closer Look Scleroderma(In-Depth)Self Care Enteral nutrition - child - managing problemsRelated Information Cystic fibrosis(Condition)Esophageal cancer(Condition)HIV/AIDS(Condition)Cerebral palsy(Condition)Failure to thrive(Condition)Swallowing problems (Self-Care)Crohn disease - discharge(Discharge)Pancreatitis - discharge(Discharge)Ulcerative colitis - discharge(Discharge) Review Date: 10/2/2020 Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.