How to Use a Nebulizer for Kids – Top Tips

Nebulizer treatments are commonly prescribed for children because they are easier to use than inhalers. Respiratory issues are also more common in children as they develop and grow which is why it is important to have a nebulizer for kids.

We have experience helping children with nebulizer treatments and have talked to other parents about their experiences to compile this list of the top tips for using a nebulizer for kids.

Distraction During Treatment

The best recommendation we can offer is to keep your child’s mind off of their treatment. If you’re having issues completing treatment, or if your child doesn’t like using a nebulizer you need to take their mind off of it. Try putting on a movie or TV show that your child likes, distract them with finger puppets, or even just talk to them! We’ve heard of parents having success with using headphones to distract their child as the sound of traditional tabletop nebulizers can sometimes be intimidating.

Leave the Mask Off

If your child is resistant to keeping the mask on during treatment don’t worry! You can take the mask off and just make sure that the mist is reaching their nose and mouth. Some medication is better than no medication. Try making your child laugh while they breathe the mists, this causes them to inhale deeper and get more medication. Some parents even will hold the nebulizer close to their child while they are sleeping so that they breathe in as much medication as possible. 

Show them How It’s Done

Sometimes your child just needs a confidence boost when trying something new like using a nebulizer. One helpful thing you can do is fill your nebulizer with water and show them how it works and even do a treatment yourself! 

Get the Right Nebulizer

It’s important to have the right nebulizer for your child. We recommend using a portable nebulizer for two reasons:

  1. Quiet operation – one of the most common issues that children have with traditional tabletop nebulizers is the noise. It can be scary for them to deal with a bulky medical device that is loud. A portable nebulizer is nearly silent and much smaller, making treatment much less daunting!
  2. Versatility – Another benefit to using a portable nebulizer is the ability to do treatment any time and any place. Your child can use it while laying down, in the car, on the couch, at the table, anywhere! This portability is also nice if you are performing treatments without the mask as it is easy to take on and off and follow fussy kids around. 

Our preferred portable nebulizer is the ProNebu Portable Nebulizer – take a look!

Be Consistent 

Once you get your child to successfully complete a nebulizer treatment be consistent! Try having treatment at the same time of day and in the same place. This repetition will help your child develop a habit and get used to using a nebulizer. 

Let us know in the comments what tips work for you or if you have any other ideas!