your child’s nose and mouth and make sure that it is comfortable (this may take some time to get used to). Your child should breathe normally until all of the medication is removed from the nebulizer cup.
Some children under the age of 4 may be trained to use a Metered Dose Inhaler, although this is uncommon. The best method is to use a spacer with a mask (Aerochamber with a mask is one type). Start by placing the canister bottom up in the plastic holder, then removing the cap from the inhaler. Shake the canister before each dose (this is important). Reassure your child so he or she doesn’t feel scared, then place the mask over his or her mouth and nose, making sure it’s sealed tight. If your child seems anxious, you might demonstrate on yourself first. Release a puff of medicine by pressing down on the canister. Hold the mask in place until your child has taken at least six breaths.
Ages 4 to 8
Your youngster may no longer need a mask, although some 4-year-olds will still need it. However, all children should use an MDI with a spacer for best results. Your doctor or health care professional can show you the different types and suggest one best suited for your child.
Children in this age group use the canister and plastic holder in the same way as described above. Have your child put their lips snugly around the mouthpiece of the spacer, with their teeth apart and tongue out of the way. Activate the MDI, then ask him or her to breathe in slowly and deeply, and then hold this breath in their lungs for five to 10 seconds. Exhale, and then, with the mouthpiece still in place, have them breathe in deeply and hold their breath again to get the full benefit of the medicine.
Over Age 8
Your child can use either a standard metered-dose inhaler or a dry powder inhaler. Doctors recommend using a canister and spacer as described above, but your child can also try simply holding the inhaler one to two inches from his or her open mouth.
If your child has trouble using it this way, he or she can also try putting the inhaler directly in their mouth with the lips open. As he or she presses down on the canister to release the medicine, they should start breathing slowly, taking several seconds to inhale, then hold their breath for 10 seconds.
To use a dry powder inhaler, your child should simply put his or her mouth around the mouthpiece and inhale quickly and deeply. Many children and their parents prefer this type of inhaler, and a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that almost all children over age 8 quickly learn how to use it.
Tackling inhalers in children can be a difficult task, but with this guide and your doctor’s help; your child should be able to breathe easier.