Teaching Your Child to Self-Cath with Pediatric Education Resources

By Lisa Wells, Cure Medical


arents often arrive at the Abilities Expo looking for resources and services that can help their child who has a disability or special needs. That's why we are so excited to share a free, new resource from Cure Medical designed especially for children by pediatric nurses!

The Cure Medical Pediatric Education program is meant for parents who can use it to teach their children "How To Self-Cath." It includes fun instruction tools and health aids like:

  • Backpacks in blue and pink with no logos—for discretion to carry your child's medical supplies at school or away from home
  • Flash cards for boys and girls that also include steps for cathing with or without stomas
  • Coloring books with crayons
  • A complimentary toy (flying monkeys for boys and bows for girls) — and more!

Click here to request your free backpack with educational materials to help your child learn the steps for self-cathing.

Moms and Teachers Love Cure Pediatric Education Resources

California native Amanda Kerr recently requested a free Cure Educational Backpack for her daughter, Norah, and was thrilled at how helpful it was for her family and the staff at her daughter's elementary school.

It was exactly what Amanda had been searching for—and more.

Moms and Teachers Love Cure Pediatric Education ResourcesIn the past, they had been given a book and some medical materials about catheterization, but the information in Cure's kid-friendly kit was presented in an entirely different way that was much easier to understand.

"Norah is the first child with spina bifida at her school campus, so we needed to educate the school staff. Cure's backpack and the materials included has been helpful for EVERYONE," Amanda explains.

Moms and Teachers Love Cure Pediatric Education Resources

Tips to Help Teach Your Child About Self-Catheterization

At a certain age, kids will be the first to tell you that they want more freedom and independence, especially as they head off to school. For many children who have spina bifida, part of that sense of independence includes being able to take care of their health regimen themselves. When using a catheter, for example, kids want to be as discreet as possible so it's not obvious at school or outside of the house.

Educational resources are one of the best ways to ensure that, from the start, your child learns to follow the same steps every time when they are using a catheter. It's much like tying a shoe!

As a parent, educational tools for cathing can help you reduce your concerns about infections, hygiene and your child's responsibility for their own catheterization duties as they get older and begin to transition into more self-care.

When your child begins to learn how to cath themselves, they'll have a lot of questions about the catheter and its usage. Even if your child is too young now to be concerned about cathing, they'll be asking questions one day soon. Here are some tips and tricks offered by Cure Medical that you can use to prepare your child for taking care of their catheter needs themselves.

Moms and Teachers Love Cure Pediatric Education Resources

1. Help Your Child Understand That Everyone Goes—Some Just Do It Differently

Parents, we know you worry about your child feeling different than other children especially when it comes to taking care of medical needs like using a catheter to go to the bathroom during the school day.

The easiest way to discuss these feelings with your child is to help them understand they're doing something everyone does.

2. Teach the Importance of Following the Same Steps Each Time to Be Clean and Healthy

When your child begins to self-cath, they need to be mature and responsible enough to understand the importance of keeping their catheter and cathing area clean during the process.

We know this is a challenge! Kids are great at making messes but in this case, it's important to reduce the possibility of getting a UTI or another infection.

3. Choose a Catheter that is Not Made with Scary Chemicals

Parents only want what's best for their children and keeping them safe from harmful chemicals is becoming an everyday battle. This is especially true for children who have spina bifida, as these individuals may be allergic to latex and other chemicals.

Due to their body size, children often have more severe allergic reactions than adult. A small amount of allergy-inducing substance often has a higher impact on a 40-lb. child than it will on a 200-lb. man. Finding the right catheter that works for your child can be frustrating, especially when you're trying to find one that's safe and easy-to-use.

Fall fashion

Ask your medical supply provider for a child's catheter that is not made with known-carcinogens DEHP, DINP, BPA or natural rubber latex—especially if you are mindful about your children's chemical or allergen exposure.

Some catheter manufacturers still use Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) as an economical means for making catheters flexible and, unfortunately, this is still legal.  However, DEHP is included on a published Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive harm according to the state of California.

The chemical's risk for harm is so great, however, that Federal law has already banned DEHP in children's toys as the chemical can be absorbed through the mouth and hands. Learn more about the dangers of DEHP here.

Reducing exposure to known carcinogens is a legitimate concern for people who have a higher risk for cancer due to hereditary or other health issues. For example, the incidence rate of bladder cancer in people who have spinal cord injury (SCI) is 16 to 28 times higher than that of the general population, according to a research study published by model SCI center Craig Rehabilitation Hospital.

Moms and Teachers Love Cure Pediatric Education Resources

The good news is that a large selection of quality-made, user-friendly intermittent catheters exist today that are not made with Proposition 65 chemicals like DEHP.

Cure Medical CEO John Anderson explains, "The use of DEHP in catheters creates a number of health risks including patient exposure to hazardous chemicals which leaches from vinyl medical devices."

"When there are options available to create intermittent catheters that work just as well as those made with standard chemicals, there's really just no reason to use these chemicals anymore if you can avoid it. Cure Medical believes it's the right thing to do, so we made the decision to go without DEHP in our products," Anderson adds.

Feel free to ask your supply provider for a catheter that doesn't expose your child to DEHP, DINP, BPA or natural rubber latex. If you can avoid these chemicals altogether, there's no reason not to do so.

Visit Cure Medical to Learn More

For more assistance on ways to help your child in learning to self-cath, or to choose a pediatric catheter that is not made with Proposition 65 chemicals, visit Cure Medical at the San Mateo Abilities Expo in Booth #316.

Or visit the website at www.curemedical.com to request a free sample along with complimentary pediatric education resources.

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