Helping Your Child Use a Nebulizer
Using a nebulizer may be a new concept for some parents who never had to use one themselves. When children require a nebulizer, it is very helpful to know how to properly use it and assist a child with it. Some children may struggle with their nebulizer treatment, or may even give parents a difficult time. For these reasons, Home Care Pharmacy is here to offer parental guidance and helpful tips on aiding and encouraging your child during treatments.
Understanding a Children’s Nebulizer
Many parents find it beneficial to gain a clear understanding of what a nebulizer does before using one at home. Basically, a nebulizer is designed to deliver medication into the lungs. A children’s nebulizer for kids under six years old typically features a mask that secures around the child’s head with a strap. Mask-style nebulizers tend to work better for younger children, while mouthpiece nebulizers are a popular choice for children older than six years.
While some devices work differently, the average mask or mouthpiece nebulizer comprises three main parts. These parts include:
- Air compressor: This plugs into a wall outlet to generate airflow.
- Plastic tubing: It connects from the air compressor to either the mask or mouthpiece
- Medicine cup: This holds specialized prescriptions and delivers them into the mask or mouthpiece.
Each of these parts connects to one another. The only difference between the two types of nebulizers is the final connection to either a mask or a mouthpiece.
How to Comfort Your Child While Using a Nebulizer
Although the use of a nebulizer is completely painless, some children may be scared or unsure of the device – especially at first. Typically, the reason that children dislike home nebulizer therapy is due to the noise a louder air compressor might make. A few ways to make nebulizers seem less scary for kids, and to help get them more used to them, include:
Practice a Routine
Most children thrive on repetition. Therefore, making a routine out of using the nebulizer can help develop a more comfortable practice. To do so, try using the nebulizer at a similar time each day (as prescribed), such as right before bed or after bath time. This will help children expect it, lessening the worry and unfamiliarity that they may associate with their treatment.
Along with practicing a routine, distraction can also help your child feel more comfortable about using their nebulizer. Letting them listen to their favorite song, look through their favorite picture book, or watch their favorite show are all great methods for diverting attention away from the task. Plus, incorporating a child’s favorite activities while using the device goes hand in hand with establishing a familiar and pleasant routine – it can help them associate nebulizer treatments with positive experiences.
Decorate with Stickers
Nebulizers can be pretty plain and boring, and may even look scary to little ones. A great way to make their nebulizer device more exciting is to let them decorate it with stickers. Parents can even take their children to the store and let them pick out their favorite stickers to cover the machine with. Some nebulizers also come in fun animal and character designs to offer a more child-friendly aesthetic.
Practice Positive Reinforcement
Parents can help their children feel better about using their nebulizers by praising them and practicing positive reinforcement. Saying things like, “You did it!” or exclaiming, “Great job!” after they’ve finished using the device are good practices.
Another way to encourage children is to offer small rewards now and then after they’ve used the device. Making nebulizer treatments a reward-based activity can help with encouragement. Things like a small toy, a new book, a favorite snack, stickers, or an outing are all excellent examples of simple rewards.
Visit Home Care Pharmacy for Further Nebulizer Assistance
Home Care Pharmacy understands the difficulty that parents may sometimes face with children who require nebulizer treatments. We offer a host of resources and medical supplies, including kids’ nebulizers, for patients and families located near Los Angeles and Ventura counties. For additional tips and tricks on helping children use a nebulizer, or to inquire about nebulizer equipment delivery from Home Care Pharmacy, contact us today.