Oxygen may sometimes be needed to keep your child comfortable, decrease the amount of work needed to breathe, and sometimes to prevent problems with their heart. Oxygen may be prescribed for conditions such as:
Your healthcare provider will measure the level of oxygen in your child's blood to see how much oxygen is needed. Oxygen flow is measured in liters per minute (lpm). Your child's healthcare provider will write a prescription for oxygen. The prescription will spell out how much oxygen your child needs per minute (flow rate).
Let people know that you have a child at home on oxygen therapy, especially:
Make sure that you have a working smoke detector.
Oxygen itself is nonflammable but if something catches fire, oxygen makes it burn much faster. For example, a spark that lands on clothing will normally only smolder and cause a small burn hole, but with oxygen in use the clothing might catch fire.
Do not put any petroleum-based lotions or creams (like Vaseline) on your child's face or upper chest. Use non-petroleum based products such as Nasal Moist, Burt's Bees lip balm and moisturizers, Cann-Ease nasal moisturizer, aloe vera based products, or other water-based moisturizers.
Sometimes children need extra oxygen. Periods of activity, illnesses such as colds, or travel to high altitude may cause breathing problems. (Before going to a higher altitude such as the mountains, contact your healthcare provider for instructions on adjusting the oxygen flow rate.)
Watch for these symptoms:
If your child has these symptoms, first make sure that all connections are secure and that oxygen is flowing. If the oxygen seems to be flowing correctly, slowly increase the flow of oxygen and call your doctor.
Call your healthcare provider or your oxygen supplier if you have any questions about oxygen safety.
Do not take your child off oxygen therapy unless your health care provider tells you to do so.