If your child has asthma or another respiratory condition, breathing treatments through a nebulizer may be prescribed. But no one enjoys taking medication, especially children.
Although nebulizer treatments are painless, your child may not see it that way. Nebulizer treatments may be even more of a challenge than a pill or liquid medication. While a teaspoon of medication can be administered quickly, a nebulizer treatment takes a little longer. It can be difficult to get a little one to sit still long enough to do a treatment.
If your child is squirming around, crying or turning their head away from the nebulizer, it is unlikely they will get a good treatment. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make nebulizers more fun for kids.
Choose the Right Model
Since many toddlers and preschoolers may be unable to use a nebulizer with a mouthpiece, you may have to give a treatment with a mask. But placing a mask on a child’s face can be frightening. That’s why a pediatric model is your best bet when it comes to administering nebulizer treatments for kids. Pediatric nebulizers are made to operate quietly, which can also make them more kid friendly.
There is a broad range of pediatric nebulizers on that market to choose. For example, there are dragon, fish and elephant nebulizer masks that make having a treatment less scary. Character themed models are also available, which can make a treatment seem like a game. Pacifier attachments are a good option for babies and toddlers. As the child sucks on the pacifier, they breathe in the aerosol medication.
Choose the Right Time
If possible, it’s helpful to choose a good time for your child’s treatment. Try to give your child’s treatment when he is relaxed. If your baby is screaming, wait a few minutes to see if you can get him to relax. Choosing a time when a favorite show is on may also keep your child busy during their treatment.
Make a Nebulizer Treatment a Positive Experience
Making your child’s nebulizer treatment less scary and maybe even fun can make treatment time easier on both of you. There are several ways you can make a nebulizer treatment a positive experience.
- Make up stories together with your child during their treatment.
- Save a special toy and let your child play with it during treatments only.
- If your child is old enough, have them put the medication in the nebulizer cup, put the mask on and turn the machine on.
- Let your child pick a favorite book for you to read to them during their treatment.
- Watch a funny video online together.
- Play a game of make-believe where your child is a pilot or astronaut wearing their mask for flight.