Helping Your Child Use a Nebulizer
Help your child get the most out of their asthma treating nebulizer. These simple guidelines show you how.
Who Should Use a Nebulizer?
Several groups of people can benefit from home nebulizer therapy. For
instance, the therapy is particularly effective in delivering asthma
medications to infants and small children. It’s also effective for anyone who
is unable to use asthma inhalers with spacers.
A nebulizer can be a very effective, even potentially lifesaving, tool for
managing allergic asthma. They are, though, only effective when used properly.
Used incorrectly, nebulizers may actually contribute to serious medical
Some people make the mistake of using a nebulizer only to deliver
quick-acting bronchodilators. These are medicines used on a “rescue” basis to
get control over an asthma attack. But doctors generally prescribe the regular
use of a nebulizer to deliver inhaled steroids. The purpose is to prevent
You might be tempted to forgo nebulizer treatment when your child is not
exhibiting any childhood allergy symptoms or signs of asthma. But to keep
asthma from getting worse, it’s important to follow the doctor’s directions
about how and when to use the machine.
Here are guidelines for helping your child use a nebulizer.
Using a Nebulizer: Getting Started
Before you start, be sure that you collect all of the materials you will
need. These include:
- air compressor
- compressor tubing
- mask or mouthpiece
- nebulizer cup
It’s a good idea to practice assembling the machine ahead of time. That way,
you will be familiar with the different components and how they go together.
Your infant or young child will feel much more comfortable about asthma
treatment if you seem at ease and confident about what you are doing. This is
especially true for babies, who will not understand what you are trying to do
and may be scared by the unfamiliar machine.
After you’ve gathered your materials, put the air compressor unit on a
steady surface and plug it in. Next, you and your child should both wash your
hands thoroughly before starting to use the nebulizer.
Here are the steps you’ll need to help your child begin using the
- Measure the asthma medications the way your doctor or pharmacists
- Place them in the nebulizer cup.
- Attach the cup to the mask mouthpiece.
- Now, use the tubing to connect the air compressor and the nebulizer
- Before you put the mask on your child, switch the compressor on. Check to
make sure it is functioning properly. If you see a mist coming through the tube
to the mouthpiece, the machine is working.
- Have your child sit in a chair or on your lap, wherever he or she will be
- Gently place the mask over his or her face, or if you are using a
mouthpiece, insert it between your child’s teeth. Make sure your child’s lips
are closed around the mouthpiece. This will create a seal.
Now your child is getting the allergic asthma treatment he or she needs.