5 Ways To Help Your Child With Their Ostomy Pouch

5 Ways To Help Your Child With Their Ostomy Pouch

Posted by Jeanne Lowry on Oct 13th 2023

While it’s not common for children to have stomas, there are circumstances in which it’s necessary. As a parent, supporting your child as they learn how to deal with their ostomy pouch can be a challenging journey. Luckily, we’re here to help make the transition easier by delving into ways you can help your child with their ostomy pouch. Learn how to help them adapt to their new normal and get through this challenging time.

Educating Yourself and Your Child About Ostomies

Knowledge is power, and understanding the ins and outs of ostomy pouches can provide both you and your child with a sense of confidence. Start by seeking out educational resources about ostomy care and management, including tips for living with an ostomy, handling challenges that arise, and ensuring your child stays healthy and comfortable.

Additionally, be sure to teach your child about their ostomy pouch and its purpose, fostering a sense of autonomy and ownership over their own care. If they don’t understand it, the pouch will just become an annoying problem they won’t want to deal with, making it more difficult for them to fully adapt.

Finding the Right Type of Ostomy Pouch

One of the most important aspects of helping your child with their ostomy pouch is finding the right type that best suits their needs. Typically, your child’s healthcare team will provide guidance and recommendations, as they will be aware of any specific medical requirements related to your child’s condition.

However, every child is different, so trial and error might be necessary. Depending on your child’s condition, a drainable urostomy pouch might be a better fit than a generic ostomy bag. Don’t be afraid to try out different brands or models until you find one that’s a perfect fit for them.

Equally as important as finding the right pouch is finding the appropriate ostomy accessories. Accessories such as ostomy belts, can help support your child's pouch making activity more comfortable throughout the day. 

Creating a Supportive and Positive Environment

Of course, caring for your child during this time extends past the ostomy itself. Fostering a healthy attitude toward ostomy pouches is essential for your child’s comfort and well-being. Encourage open discussions about their feelings and experiences and provide reassurance and empathy.

Validate their emotions and let them know that it’s OK to feel a range of emotions as they adapt to their ostomy. Keep a positive outlook and celebrate their resilience and strength, emphasizing the benefits of ostomy in terms of improving their health and quality of life.

Collaborating With School and Extracurricular Activities

Be sure to communicate openly with your child’s school, teachers, and coaches. This step is a vital part of creating a supportive environment outside of the home. Inform them about your child’s ostomy pouch and any specific needs or accommodations required. Collaborate with them to develop strategies that ensure your child’s participation in school activities and extracurriculars remains fluid and comfortable. Your child’s community can work to build a sense of belonging, routine, and normalcy that’ll be integral to your child’s mental well-being.

Connecting With Ostomy Support Groups and Resources

Finally, finding a community of individuals sharing similar experiences can provide you and your child with invaluable support and understanding. Look for local or online support groups, forums, and networks where you can connect with other parents of children with ostomies or even other children with similar experiences. These connections can provide your entire family with emotional support, advice, and friendship.