A nebulizer can be an effective method for giving your child his/her asthma medicine. Typically, you’ll only need to use one for five to ten minutes to get a full dose. All your child needs to do is stay still with the facemask strapped to their face (or holding the mouthpiece in their mouth, depending on the type of nebulizer you have) and breathe in normally.
Now, some parents may read this and think, “Ah, but there’s the problem.” And indeed, it can be hard to get some children to stay still for five to ten seconds, much less minutes. Also, holding a device up to their face for that length of time could potentially make them uncomfortable. Here, then, are a few tips for persuading your child to use their nebulizer as often and as regularly as they need.
Set a specific time each day for your child to take their medicine and stick to it. This will help condition your child to using the nebulizer regularly.
Praise your child for using the nebulizer correctly. Remind them how using it will help keep them healthy and enable them to do more things. You could also give them a small treat after they’ve finished using it. Another good idea is to engage in some activity to make the time that your child is using the nebulizer more pleasant (read to your child, play some music, watch a DVD or a TV show, etc.). If your child is older, encourage them to help you set up the nebulizer so they’ll feel more responsible and in control.
Make It Fun
If your child shows some reluctance, you can make a game out of using the nebulizer. For instance, pretend that the facemask is a scuba mask or a jet pilot’s mask. Encourage your child to decorate the nebulizer with stickers and possibly draw on it using non-toxic markers. Of course, you should be careful not to do anything that could potentially damage the compressor, hose or facemask/mouthpiece. Also, don’t do anything to the inside of a facemask.
Using a nebulizer doesn’t have to be a chore. With a bit of planning and creativity, you help your child grow comfortable with using one and managing their respiratory problems.
Ken Stanfield is a writer and blogger who specializes in respiratory health and healthcare. He currently writes for the nebulizer systems supplier justnebulizers.com