Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Helping Your Child Use a Nebulizer

Help your child get the most out of their asthma treating nebulizer. These simple guidelines show you how.

Using a Nebulizer With a Mask

If your child is not old enough to use a mouthpiece correctly, you will need to use a mask with the nebulizer. The mask ensures the asthma medication is delivered properly. You may not like the idea of putting a mask over your baby’s nose and mouth, but remind yourself how important it is to use a nebulizer correctly. It’s the only way to make sure the asthma medicine your child needs goes directly to the lungs.

Some babies are upset or scared by the nebulizer. Because of this, some parents are tempted to point the mist at the baby’s face while the baby sleeps. What they want to do is deliver the asthma treatment in way that would be undetected. But this method, called “blow-by treatment,” is highly ineffective. It will not deliver the asthma medication to your baby’s lungs.

For children of all ages, a close-fitting mask will make the difference between a nebulizer treatment that works and one that does not. If the mask is just a mere half-inch away from the nose and mouth, 50% of the medicine will not make its way to the lungs. If the mask is an inch away from the face, 80% of the medicine won’t reach the lungs.

What to Do During a Nebulizer Treatment

A nebulizer treatment can take between 15 and 20 minutes. It will be easier for your child to sit still for the treatment if your child has something else to focus on. For instance, you might try reading to your child while the asthma treatment is going on.

While the nebulizer is delivering the medication, encourage your child to breathe slowly and deeply. Urge your child to try to hold each breath in for a couple of seconds before exhaling. If this makes your child nervous, explain that the asthma medication will work better if it sits in the lungs before it’s blown out. To help, you can hold your breath with your child or count out loud to provide support.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration