What is a nasogastric tube (NG tube)?
An NG tube is a small, soft tube that is put in through the nose, down the throat and into the stomach. This tube may be used to provide feedings and/or medications to your child.
For infants and children who are not able to take enough calories by mouth because of problems with their throat (esophagus) or if they have difficulty with swallowing, breathing, digestion, absorption or growth problems, the child’s doctor will place a NG tube until they can get proper nutrition on their own.
Why does my child need a NG tube?
A child may get a NG tube for many reasons, but most commonly because he/she:
- Is unable to gain weight from not taking in enough calories
- Has trouble swallowing, eating, drinking or taking medicine
- Breathes food or fluid into the lungs when swallowing
- Needs more calories than can be taken through the mouth
- Needs medicine to help relieve constipation
- Provide nutritional therapy for treating a disease (i.e. IBD)
How to place your child’s NG tube
If your child needs NG tube feeds at home, you must be familiar with the tube before you leave the hospital. This includes having the staff demonstrate placement and show you how to care for and feed your child with the tube. In some cases, a home health nurse will also visit you at home after you leave the hospital to provide more teaching.
How to care for your child’s NG tube