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Understanding the symptoms of your child’s illness or injury is extremely important but knowing the different forms of medication and remedies they need to heal their wounds is crucial to their overall health. Most parents know the typical over-the-counter drugs to use for at-home care, however, new drugs come out every year, making it that much more important to stay informed on how to best treat your child in today’s world—in this case nebulizer treatment.
A nebulizer is a device that sprays a fine, liquid mist of medicine. It is often used in younger children who can’t use inhalers. The device has an air compressor, a cup for medicine, and tubing connected to a mouthpiece or mask. Your child breathes in the medicine through the mouthpiece or mask. Each treatment takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. There are several different types of nebulizers used for asthma medicine: jet nebulizers, ultrasonic nebulizers, and mesh nebulizers. It’s important to know that the instructions can be slightly different for each. So, make sure you know how to use your child’s nebulizer.
Nebulizer treatment can be tricky at times which makes the following steps important to know when giving treatment to your child. Still, you should speak to your child’s healthcare provider for specific instructions, but usage will vary depending on the child’s symptoms.
First things first, wash your hands and gather the recommended supplies which are medicine to be nebulized and additional nebulizing solution such as sterile saline. Then, grab your nebulizer set. This is the nebulizer cup, mouthpiece or mask, and tubing to connect to the nebulizer machine. Find a quiet activity for your child to do while he or she sits up for the treatment such as reading a book, drawing, or playing a quiet game.
After this, place the nebulizer on a flat surface, the best place would be on a table or the floor. Then, plug the unit into a wall outlet and connect the tubing to the nebulizer machine, and finally put the medicine into the nebulizer cup and screw the cap on securely. Some medicine may be premixed. Other medicine may need to be measured. Connect the other end of the air tubing to the nebulizer cup, connect the mouthpiece or face mask to the nebulizer cup, and now turn the machine on. It’s important to check to make sure a fine mist of medicine is coming through the face mask or mouthpiece. Most nebulizer cups need to be held upright to work correctly.
Place the mouthpiece in your child’s mouth with their lips sealed around the mouthpiece and make sure to encourage your child to take slow deep breaths in and out of their mouth. The mist should disappear with each breath.
Place the mask over your child’s mouth and nose. The adjustable elastic band may be used to hold the mask in place and make sure your child takes deep breaths in and out for the entire treatment. Instruct your child to continue slow, deep breaths until all the medicine in the nebulizer cup is gone. You may need to tap the sides of the nebulizer cup to make sure all medicine is given. Once you have done this, turn the nebulizer machine off and check your child’s peak flow and make sure to measure it before and after the treatment.
It’s important to stay with your child during their nebulizer treatment and if your child vomits or has a severe coughing spell, stop the treatment. Make sure your child rests for a few minutes, then resume the treatment. Check the filter on the nebulizer machine once a week to ensure it is clean and sanitary. When it becomes discolored, replace it with a new filter. Always keep spare nebulizer supplies at home. Before you run out, call your medical supply company.
Sometimes babies and little kids have trouble getting asthma treatments with a nebulizer. Kids need to sit still for anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes while they breathe in the medicine. Every parent with a toddler knows just how hard that can be.
Using a nebulizer should become a daily routine. Use the nebulizer at the same time each day, so your child knows to expect it. Some parents give treatment time a fun name, to make it exciting. You can do things like read stories, watch movies or play with toys during nebulizer time to make your child feel more comfortable
If your child is afraid of the mask, you can turn it into a game, saying it’s a superhero mask and will give them special powers. Maybe throw on Spider-Man or an Avengers movie so they can really engage with your story. There are also masks you can buy that are shaped like animals and cool creatures!
If your child is old enough, have them help you put the mask on, hold the tubing, and turn the machine on and make sure to congratulate your child for a job well done!
Not every child will handle nebulizer treatment the same which is why listening to your son or daughter is so important. Some children can sit still for long periods of time while others fuss around and will become agitated. Treatment such as this one requires patience and concentration, making you that much more important to the healing process. The good news is if you do find yourselves struggling to use a nebulizer, the experts at Chai Care will happily guide you through all the steps and your child will be healthy in no time!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.