How Do I Use a Nebulizer for Children?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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Using a nebulizer is a simple way to administer asthma medication to a child. The nebulizer is useful for infants and small children who are unable to use an inhaler. There are a few steps involved in using a nebulizer for children, including setting up the device, inserting the medication, and helping the child inhale all of the medicine.

In order to use a nebulizer for children, obtain liquid medication from the pharmacy. The medication may come in a bottle containing a single dose or in a larger bottle with a measuring device. The medication is placed in a special cup on the nebulizer.

Administering medication through a nebulizer for children takes about ten minutes. The child needs to sit upright, breathing deeply until all the medication is gone, so it may help to give the child medication in an area that is quiet and free from distraction. The child should breathe at a slow, regular pace. Holding the breath, if possible, for a few seconds each time, so that the medicine has a chance to settle in the respiratory tract.


It is possible to administer breathing medication through a face mask or through a mouthpiece. The breathing apparatus is placed on the child's face or in the child's mouth and left in place for the entire time that the medication is being inhaled. Once a child becomes used to wearing the device, it is not difficult for them to use the device properly in order to receive the correct dosage of medicine.

Before using a nebulizer for children, you will need to set up. Use clean hands or gloves when working with nebulizer equipment, to reduce the risk of the child getting sick from germs transferred to the nebulizer during set-up. Once you have thoroughly washed your hands, the components of the nebulizer can be connected. The air compressor, which allows the medication to be transformed from a liquid into small, breathable droplets, is placed on a stable surface and plugged in. The tubes that connect the compressor to the medicine cup and the cup to the inhaling device then need to be screwed into place so that the medicine can be administered.


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