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The Importance of Pediatric Nebulizers
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma or another type of illness that requires respiratory therapy, your doctor may have prescribed medication that requires the use of a nebulizer. A nebulizer turns your child’s medication into a vapor or fine mist. This breathable mist is also called an aerosol. Your child inhales the medicated aerosol so that it goes directly to the lungs. Administering aerosol medication with a nebulizer is similar to using a metered-dose inhaler
Administering nebulizer treatments to children is much different than with adults. For starters, the respiratory therapy equipment used for adults is large and too cumbersome to be used by children. Thus, it can be awkward and challenging to properly administer breathing treatments to children. Some children become uncooperative during a nebulizer treatment, which makes consistent delivery of the aerosol medication all but impossible. 1 Thus, we offer a full range of appropriately-sized pediatric nebulizers to make the experience of respiratory therapy for your child an enjoyable one. Note: children around the age of seven should consider the use of a mask rather than a mouthpiece. Not only does this enhance the delivery of the medication, but masks come in a variety of imaginative characters and animal faces. This makes respiratory therapy for a child more like a game and less like a medical treatment.
How to Properly Administer a Nebulizer Treatment to Your Child
Wash and Sanitize
The first step in properly administering a nebulizer treatment to your child is to thoroughly clean and wash your child’s hands. You should also clean and wash your own. We suggest washing hands using warm soap and water, but you should also thoroughly disinfect by using hand sanitizer.
Children can get fidgety during a nebulizer treatment, so make sure you find a comfortable place for your child to sit that is near a hard, sturdy surface close to an electrical outlet. Make sure the surface is solid since you do not want the pediatric nebulizer to tip and fall over. Note: you must make sure the area is not cluttered so that you do not block air from flowing into the vents of the pediatric nebulizer. Once you’ve found the proper surface, plug the pediatric nebulizer compressor into the electrical outlet.
Carefully unroll the tubing and connect one end of the tubing to the pediatric nebulizer. Then, connect the other end of the tubing to the bottom end of the medication cup. See your unit’s user guide for specifics on this. If you need help doing this, please contact Customer Support by calling 678-986-4169.
Open the medication cup by turning the lid in a clockwise fashion, just like opening a jar. You are now ready to put the prescribed amount of medicine into the cup.
Note: do not dump the medicine into the middle of the cup. Remember: cautiously pour the medicine around the edges of the cup. After you’ve done this, put the lid back on and turn it in a counter-clockwise fashion until it is tight. It is important to note that if your doctor has prescribed more than one medication, it is possible to administer them during the same treatment. This will keep you from having to do multiple nebulizer treatments. However, be sure to check with your doctor to see what he or she recommends.
Connect the pediatric nebulizer mask attachment to the cup. Make sure the mask or mouthpiece is secure.
Caution: do not lay the medication cup down on its side. This will cause the medication to spill.
Turn the pediatric nebulizer compressor on. After a few seconds, you will see a fine mist coming out of the mask or mouthpiece. When you see this, you are ready to begin your nebulizer treatment.
Press To Face
Help your child place the mask around his or her face. Note: ask your child sit up with
good posture. This will help your child to inhale the medicine deep into their lungs.
If you are wearing the nebulizer mask, it is important to breath in through your mouth and
not your nose. Encourage the child to take slow deep breaths into their mouth until the
mist stops flowing out of the pediatric nebulizer mask. Note: it may be necessary to
slightly tap the sides of the medication cup to ensure that no medicine gets stuck to the
sides of the cup during the treatment.
If for any reason you need to stop the nebulizer treatment, be sure to turn off the pediatric nebulizer compressor. At the end of the treatment, you will hear a sputtering sound and the mist will no longer come out of the mouthpiece or mask. For a child, expect the nebulizer treatment to take between 7 and 10 minutes. When the treatment is done, make sure you tell your child to swallow any saliva that it is collected in their mouth. This is because their saliva has medication droplets in it. Note: there may be a few drops of medication left in the cup, but that is acceptable. At this point, it is safe to turn off the pediatric nebulizer compressor and unplug it.
After the Nebulizer Treatment
You will want to thoroughly clean the medication cup, as well as the pediatric nebulizer mask and/or mouthpiece. Do this by disassembling the tubing, cup, and mask or mouthpiece. You may then wash the cup and mask (or mouthpiece) in the dishwasher. We recommend that you soak
these parts in 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts warm water for several minutes every other day. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Note: do not clean the tubing. Finally, let the components air dry in an area that is free from direct sunlight. As part of your treatment routine, we suggest you check the air filter in your pediatric nebulizer quite often, especially if you are doing several nebulizer treatments per day. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can shorten the lifespan of the compressor. If you need help checking and or changing the filter of your pediatric nebulizer compressor, please call Customer Support at 678-986-4169.
1 Goralski, Jennifer L, and Davis, Stephanie D. “Breathing Easier: Addressing the Challenges of Aerosolizing Medications to Infants and Preschoolers.” Respiratory Medicine, vol. 108, no. 8, Elsevier Ltd, Aug. 2014, pp. 1069–74, doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2014.06.004.