Kid Nebulizer Usage Guide

Nebulizers, Respiratory Therapy Tips

What is a Nebulizer for Kids? 

A nebulizer is a machine used to deliver asthma medicine deep inside the lungs. It is an asthma treatment option that can be utilized by both children 6 years old and under with a mask and children above the age of 6 with a mouthpiece. Many kid nebulizers are easy to use for older children so that they can manage asthma or other respiratory illnesses on their own.

With a little practice, most kids can learn how to use their portable nebulizer and when they should use it.

Difference Between Nebulizers and Kid Nebulizers

There are no mechanical differences between children’s nebulizers and adult nebulizers. Both children and adults can use either type of nebulizer.

The difference is simply in the design. Children’s nebulizers are kid-friendly and colorful, often featuring fun animal shapes. The designs help kids feel comfortable using their nebulizers as well as help them feel less self-conscious about managing a respiratory illness. This makes nebulizer treatments more fun and less intimidating to kids.

Signs Your Child Needs a Nebulizer

Children showing any of these respiratory symptoms may need a kid nebulizer:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Delayed recovery from bronchitis

Some kids may experience these symptoms daily or seasonally if they are responding to spring or fall asthma triggers. The severity of the respiratory condition will be determined by your doctor who will recommend proper treatment. Leaving these symptoms untreated may lead to lung damage as kids grow.

Help Your Child Learn How to Use a Nebulizer

Kids may be self-conscious about using a nebulizer, as it makes them look sick and unhealthy to their friends. Showing kids that a nebulizer is easy to use and beneficial to them is the first step in helping them adapt to nebulizer use. Fun and colorful nebulizers also help kids feel more comfortable when it comes time for a nebulizer treatment.

You can also give nebulizer treatment time a special name so kids understand when they should use their devices.

What to Look for in Kid Nebulizers

Efficiency

An efficient kid’s nebulizer reduces the steps for treatment. Kids can easily become confused by complicated devices and may not use them when they need treatment most. The fewer steps to deliver treatment can be found in the best and most efficient nebulizer.

Most nebulizers for kids require only a few steps:

  • Wash hands
  • Prep the medicine
  • Connect the medicine container to the machine using the tubing. Connect the mask or mouthpiece to the top of the container.

Portability 

A good nebulizer for kids should be highly portable. You want to be able to take the nebulizer on family vacations. Many nebulizers are lightweight with a small, compact footprint so they are easy to carry anywhere and small enough to pack in a suitcase.

If you use a bulkier nebulizer at home, select a more portable unit that you can use when you travel with your child. You want to ensure that treatments are readily available no matter where you go.

Noise Level

A noisy nebulizer can be annoying for adults and children alike. For a child, it can actually be worse to experience a loud nebulizer. The excessive noise may be alarming and unpleasant and make any treatment time even more traumatic. A quiet nebulizer makes it easy to deliver treatment without upsetting your child. A noisy kid nebulizer may also begin to make your child associate the noise of the machine with a negative experience come treatment time.

Child-Friendly 

The most distinctive feature of a nebulizer for kids is its use of fun and festive animal imagery and bright colors. Children will feel more comfortable with their treatment when the nebulizer looks like a toy. Many nebulizers are designed in this child-friendly way. You may even find a nebulizer with a theme that your child loves like dragons or fish. This design reduces the stress of treatment and makes treatment time feel less like a medical experience.

Insurance Coverage 

Many kid nebulizers may be covered by health insurance policies. Look for a nebulizer that is included in your health insurance coverage. This can save you money on the purchase of the nebulizer as well as on the regular purchase of essential medicines your child needs to use with the machine. Check with your insurance provider on what durable medical equipment is covered. Some insurance companies may only cover adult nebulizers. So, it’s important to ask if a kid-friendly version is covered.

How Beneficial are Kid Nebulizers for Your Child? 

Nebulizers help prevent respiratory problems your child may experience ranging from asthma to bronchitis. Nebulizers can also reduce long-term instances of respiratory episodes like asthma attacks which can be traumatic for children. Many nebulizers are easy to use so children can learn how to administer treatment themselves and take responsibility early on for their own self-care. With effective misted medication delivery, kids experience fewer side effects than other methods of medication delivery systems.

How to Improve Compliance While Using Nebulizers for Kids

Let Your Kid Get Familiar with Their Nebulizer

Make the kid nebulizer a familiar part of a child’s everyday life so they are not afraid or intimidated by treatments. Make treatments a pleasant ritual so kids feel it is part of their life like bedtime or playtime. Knowing that a nebulizer treatment is coming up becomes less stressful when it is incorporated into their daily schedule. Provide some reward for successfully completing treatments, such as a treat or snack so kids can actually look forward to treatment.

Let Your Kid Use Their Nebulizer on Their Own

Teach children how to use their nebulizer, whether it be a home unit or portable unit so that they feel empowered to care for their respiratory condition on their own. Once a child knows the proper steps, they will feel like nebulizer treatments are their responsibility. Managing their own nebulizer treatments may be part of their daily duties much like household chores and homework. If they receive an allowance, kids can be rewarded for successfully completing their nebulizer treatments on schedule by receiving money, snacks, or a gift.

Consider Using a Pacifier Attachment 

Providing nebulizer treatments to very young children can be more difficult. Babies or toddlers are not ready to take on their own treatments and may express discomfort with every treatment period. For younger kids, parents might use a pacifier attachment to the nebulizer. This soothing addition can make nebulizer treatments more pleasant and reduce feelings of tension and anxiety. This approach is also helpful and easily adaptable if a child already uses a pacifier.

Make Nebulizer Usage a Game for Your Kid 

Nebulizer treatments do not have to be unpleasant medical experiences. Make every treatment a game. Create positive challenges that your child can overcome by simply completing treatment steps on their own. Quiz your child on the steps or incorporate a board game or playing cards into the treatment process. Back every step in the game of using their nebulizer with positive reinforcement from praise for their success or a treat that rewards their big win with treatment.  

Praise Your Kid for Proper Nebulizer Usage

Whether it be homework or the completion of household chores, children like to know that their parents appreciate their success in everyday activities. The same praise helps kids through nebulizer treatment. Reinforce every step of the process of treatment with positive praise. Children like to know that their self-management of their respiratory illness makes them more responsible and more like a grownup. Let your child know that you love them for taking care of themselves.

How Can You Ensure That Your Child Gets Better Results from Their Nebulizer?

Making sure that nebulizer treatments are effective as possible for your child’s respiratory condition can be achieved by doing the following:

  • Consult with your doctor about medications used with the nebulizer. During checkups see if medication doses or types need to change due to any changes in your child’s respiratory health.
  • Be accurate when it comes to measuring the medicine. Be sure not to exceed or reduce dosage requirements.
  • Make sure your child takes a deep breath when using the nebulizer. Often normal breathing is not sufficient to ensure that the misted medication reaches deep into the lungs.
  •  Watch for evidence that the nebulizer is not working properly. If your child continues to have respiratory episodes, then the nebulizer or type of medication has to be reviewed by your doctor.
  • Keep your nebulizer clean. Use maintenance and cleaning procedures and schedules provided by the manufacturer to ensure that your nebulizer is working properly and is sanitary.

Best Kid Nebulizers 

The Panda Pediatric Compressor Nebulizer

The fun panda theme makes this compressor nebulizer perfect for kids. The device is easy to use and is very durable. It weighs only 4.3 pounds, so it is lightweight enough that even kids can transport it around the house with them.

Philips Respironics Willis the Whale Compressor Nebulizer System

This fun fished-themed nebulizer is easy for kids to use on their own. The treatment is fast and efficient and the device only weighs 3.5 pounds. It features SideStream technology, designed to boost airflow for easier and more comfortable treatment.

Sami the Seal Nebulizer

This fun seal-themed nebulizer makes treatments more enjoyable. The device delivers treatments in only 6-8 minutes per dose and includes active venting technology, Venturi, to ensure effective medicine delivery every time.

Where Can I Get a Nebulizer for Kids?

You can find nebulizers for kids in both home units and portable models from The Oxygen Concentrator Supplies Store. Our knowledgeable staff can help you select a nebulizer that fits the needs of your child. They can help match nebulizers based on prescribed medications and instruct parents on the proper use of the nebulizer with their children. Our staff can help make the shopping process easy and hassle-free. And we ship your nebulizer right to your home.