Breathing problems with your little one can be terrifying. There is nothing worse than watching them struggle to catch a breath or have pain in their chest while trying to breathe. What can you do?
First and foremost, if it is a new concern, get them right to the doctor. You do not want to wait and see with possible respiratory illness.
A nebulizer can help them get the medicine they need, quickly, by breathing it in a soothing mist.
We know when you're at the doctor learning about a new treatment you have to do at home with your child, it can be a whirlwind. Here is what you can expect when it comes to your child using nebulizers.
What Is a Nebulizer?
A nebulizer delivers liquid medication through vapor. By going directly to the lungs, the medication is able to work better for infections or other lung-related illnesses.
A mask or mouthpiece is attached to the device and when turned on it creates a mist meant to be inhaled.
Why Might My Child Need to Use a Nebulizer?
Conditions that may warrant a nebulizer as treatment include asthma, chronic bronchitic, upper respiratory tract infections, allergies, and pediatric chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
These are diseases that impact the airways and by having the child inhale the medication, the medicine works quicker.
You may ask, why not use an inhaler to deliver metered doses of medicine? A doctor may prescribe an inhaler with a spacer, but if the child is too young to use it or not coordinated enough to get the breathing right, they will be told to use a nebulizer instead.
Signs My Child May Need a Nebulizer
How do you know if your child needs a nebulizer? You can watch out for these signs and symptoms that your child may need a nebulizer.
Look out for wheezing, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, and rapid breathing.
If your child has any of these symptoms, consider talking to their doctor about appropriate treatments, which may include nebulizers.
How to Use a Nebulizer
A nebulizer is used by holding a mouthpiece to your face and once the medicine is applied, breathing in a medical mist.
Before preparing and using the nebulizer, make sure to wash your hands. Have your child wash their hands too.
On a flat surface, set up the nebulizer. Make sure the air filter is clean and rinse out any parts of the nebulizer that seem dirty. We recommend also cleaning it after use, but double-checking before using is important in case any dust or dirt has settled.
Prepare the medicine and put it into the machine, add saline if needed, and connect the medicine container to the tubing.
Place the mask or appropriate mouthpiece on your child's face and turn on the machine. Have your child slowly breathe in and out, inhaling the medical mist. The whole treatment shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.
Make sure to clean after each use and to disinfect once every few treatments.
There are different types of mouthpieces that may be used depending on your child's age and abilities. A face mask may be used for children of all ages and is a popular choice for at-home use.
There is also just a tube mouthpiece that older kids can use and breathe in by just putting it between their lips. For younger children, a nose cannula may be the best option to get the medicine into the airways.
If your child is fussy, you can try using a blowby technique where the mask is just put near their face and they breathe in the mist.
Benefits of Nebulizers
There are many benefits to using nebulizers when appropriate. Your child will likely feel better after the treatment and be able to breathe easier. Besides improved breathing, they may have reduced pain and struggle.
Nebulizers can also help get rid of infections by putting the medicine right into the airway and infected area.
Tips and Tricks
There are a few tricks that can help you get the most effective treatment without inciting chaos.
Schedule It In
Add the nebulizer treatment into your daily routine, just like brushing teeth or taking a shower. Making it a familiar part of the schedule will help take away the daunting aspects of it.
Do Something Fun!
Make sure to schedule in some fun during or after the nebulizer treatment. If your child associates breathing treatments with mundane tasks, they may not sit well for the treatment.
They'll feel a lot less anxious about the treatment when their favorite game is played or beloved book is read along with the nebulizer treatment.
Make It Kid-Friendly
A nebulizer can look and feel a bit scary to a child. In order to use it most effectively and efficiently without the fuss, make the nebulizer kid-friendly.
Find a nebulizer that is more appealing to kids. Add some stickers or make a game out of doing the nebulizer treatment.
What Is Your Next Step?
Do you think your child needs a nebulizer? Talk to your child's doctor about any breathing issues or chest pain.
If you need to purchase a nebulizer, we have a wide variety of products that will suit your nebulizer needs.
Does your child already have a nebulizer and you need replacement parts? We have those too. Save Rite Medical has all the supplies you could need for at-home treatments.
Want more information about purchasing nebulizers? Contact us today.