Clothing Problems For Kids with Medical Needs

This blog post is sponsored by Kozie Clothes

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When you have a child who has ongoing medical issues, medical devices, has had surgery, extended hospital stays, you know finding appropriate and functional clothing is a problem. The struggle is very real. If you are like me, you do not want them to spend their life in a hospital gown that may be ill fitting, not warm enough, or just feel too hopsitalish. Yes, that’s a word. Once you go home and get back into your regular routine, the struggle continues.

Maybe your child has to be connected to a pulse ox, oxygen, have a feeding tube, central line, or even a trach…

Maybe you need to access their tubes/devices throughout your day and night…

Maybe you wish someone would consider the needs of your child and find a solution to these issues…

One such company is doing just that. We’ve been using Kozie Clothes products for over 2 years now and am excited to be working with them again. Our daughter Adeline has short bowel syndrome, has had several inpatient hospitalizations, 12 surgeries, countless procedures, a central line for the first few years of her life, and currently a feeding tube. I am going to share some of the specific struggles we’ve had and share how Kozie has solved that problem!

Access Problems

Adeline had a central line and currently has a feeding tube, so we struggle with just being able to get to those tubes/lines. Her central line is in her chest, so we would either stretch the neck of her onesie, pull her arm out, or just take the shirt off completely. We had to connect and disconnect her a few times a day, and troubleshoot alarming issues in the night. We also have to run the tube out of somewhere which means it either comes out near the neck ( which is not always safe because it could wrap around the neck, or gives the child easy access to pulling), we cut holes in her clothes, or wear 2 piece pajamas which is not as good for the feeding tube. With the feeding tube, we struggle with many of the same access issues, getting to the tube throughout the day and night to connect and disconnect, give meds, flush the tubes, etc.

Access Solution

Kozie clothes makes adaptive medical and sensory clothing for kids and they’ve solved this access problem. I’ve shown a few examples below of how they (together with Pediatric Nurses, Special Needs Parents, and Sensory Therapists) have created clothing with our kids in mind. Here are some of the features of the adaptive clothing & how that helps with access. All you need to do is click the photo to shop!

Adaptive Features

  • Front snap closures

  • Snap closure at both shoulders

  • Snap closure at crotch

  • Overlaying belt/band covers the belly

  • Socks with access

These features are great for tube feeding, monitors, leads, ports, I-V's, trachea, etc. They easily gives the option for the baby/child to be dressed while laying on their back. This adorable sensory soft Kozie Bodysuit offers all front snap closure and snap closure at both shoulders and crotch for quick accessibility to G- Tube, Ports, cleaning around traches, clean up from drool, spit up, diapering/potty, etc. The overlaying belt/band covers the belly for added support and protection from little grabbing hands.  Socks are designed to allow pulse oximetry, use of monitors, testing reflexes, foot pulses, and allow for IV in children’s foot.

clothing problems for kids with medical needs - she got guts

Comfort & sensory problems

Kids with medical issues, born prematurely, with potential brain injuries, or even some medical treatments cause their sensory system to be irregular. My daughter has a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and this causes her to be sensitive to some items; tags in clothing, fabrics, lights, loud noises, she gets cold easily, or causes her difficulty with regulating herself, sleeping, etc. You can read the basics about sensory processing here.

clothing problems for kids with medical needs - she got guts

Comfort & Sensory solutions

You can use clothing or weighted items to provide some proprioceptive, deep pressure input. Deep pressure is a firm tactile sensory input that provides proprioceptive input to the whole body. It has a calming, organizing effect on children and adults alike. At a physiological level, deep pressure therapy helps the two main systems in the autonomic nervous system balance each other out so as to help with emotional regulation. The increased production of serotonin and dopamine counteract the effects of cortisol to hormonally regulate your body’s response to sensory information. Deep touch pressure also results in increased endorphin levels and releases the “happy hormones” serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate some brain functions and help with mood regulation. It is also known to stimulate parts of the brain that are responsible for sleep and the production of melatonin. This is why some people sleep better with a weighted blanket.

Kozie clothes offers weighted blankets, compression shirts that be worn as shirts or discreetly underneath clothing, weighted vests, or even pocket weights. These clothing items provide proprioceptive input to the body.

clothing problems for kids with medical needs - she got guts

Dignity problems

As your child starts to get past the baby stage, maintaining their dignity is something you need to consider. We want to make sure they understand self-respect, privacy, and appropriate behaviors as they mature. It’s fine to run around naked before the bath in your home around family and close friends, but not okay in the doctor’s office. When your child has medical or special needs, you may need to undress them to access things throughout your day. For us, we would need to take off Adeline’s shirt to access her broviac, and if we were out and about doing this in the stroller was cleaner then a public restroom. You may also need to consider dignity when your older child may still be in diapers, etc and clothes stop offering access snaps at the crotch. Keeping dignity in mind is always a good reminder for me, since our little ones are so used to getting undressed in front of people. I think about exams during rounds where there are 20 people in the room and we just undress her completely.

In many instances, our special needs kids already stand out. Maintaining their dignity elevates their character, not because we are ashamed of their differences, but because everyone deserves honor and respect.
— Nicole Feeny www.wonderbaby.Org
clothing problems for kids with medical needs - she got guts

Dignity solutions

Kozie clothes offers some solutions to make sure your child maintains their dignity. All of their compression clothing looks typical, it can also be worn under their everyday clothing. This allows your child to get some sensory input while not making it obvious to the rest of the world. The access onesie is my favorite because it can allow you to access a trach, broviac, port, IV, feeding tube, ostomy, all while keeping your child clothed. It has buttons down the middle, across the shoulders, and in the crotch. This is our favorite when we were inpatient, recovering from surgery, or for everyday use when we needed access to her various lines.

About Kozie

Kozie is a childrens clothing line with special consideration for infants, toddlers, and children. It’s committed to produce fun, stylish, comfortable clothing and products to the Pediatric Special Needs community. Founder Susan Donohoe developed the concept for a line of adorable and kid friendly products that offer therapeutic benefits, safety and ease of use. Through many years of working closely with educators, therapists, nursing professionals, manufacturers, and experts in design, she created Kozie Clothes in 2013 as a way to incorporate Neuroscience Principles as well as the medical needs into trendy and relevant products and apparel. .

We believe that all children are unique and that children’s clothing and products should be sensory comfortable, durable, & stylish.
kozie clothes - she got guts

Founder: Susan Donohoe is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist with a Certification in Sensory Integration and Sensory Enrichment Therapy and raised 6 beautiful children. Susan received her Occupational Therapy Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has been practicing O.T. for over 35 years. She has long been an advocate for children with special needs. Because of this “just right” passion and commitment to helping children, she developed the concept for a line of adorable and kid friendly products that offer therapeutic benefits, safety and ease of use.

Their needs are our calling, and all needs are special.
clothing problems for kids with medical needs - she got guts

Any other clothing problems you struggle with?? Comment below!

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