Children who have been diagnosed with asthma are all too familiar with having to use an inhaler whenever they are struggling to breathe. It can be difficult to learn the best ways to use this medical tool, however, as many instances of asthma cause a sense of panic. Consider these top 10 inhaler mistakes kids make.
Top 10 Inhaler Mistakes Kids Make
During this moment of fright, your child may not remember how to properly handle an inhaler, leading to them receiving inadequate medical help. Today, New York’s top kids asthma specialist will review the top 10 inhaler mistakes kids make when they are first learning how to deal with asthma.
Running on Empty
Many kids will continue to use an inhaler even after it has been empty for a while. Your child may not know where to look for the numbers that indicate how many puffs are left in the device. Make sure you know when to request a refill!
Not Using a Spacer
A spacer is a special tool that goes between the inhaler and the child’s mouth. It quite literally helps to “space out” the medicine and the airways where it is being delivered. This ensures that the medicine reaches more than just the surface of the mouth.
Biting or Licking the Inhaler
Kids might not be opening their mouths all the way when using an inhaler. If their teeth or tongue are getting in the way of the medicine, it won’t be able to reach the breathing airways further back in the throat. Make sure the inhaler is under the top teeth and above the bottom teeth, with the tongue out of the way.
Aiming for the Roof
On the other side of the coin, going too far to avoid the teeth and tongue might also spell disaster. It is possible for your child to aim too far upward while spraying, resulting in medicine hitting the roof of their mouth. Teach your child to aim for the back of the throat, like they are going to swallow the medicine once they spray it.
Inhaling Too Quickly
Your child might be very eager to get the inhaler process over with so they can get back to their playtime. However, they might end up inhaling medicine too quickly, which means the medicine won’t work correctly. A slow inhale is the way to go.
Sitting While Inhaling
Did you know that you need to stand up while using an inhaler? This will give the lungs all the space they need to fully inflate while your child breathes in a big, deep breath when taking a puff. Plus, there will be much more power behind the exhale, making the medication all the more effective!
Forgetting to Shake it Up
You should make sure to always shake the inhaler for 10 or 15 rounds before taking a puff. This activates the medication and helps it become more potent by the time it hits the mouth. Your child can also prime a new inhaler by letting out a couple of puffs before taking their first inhale.
Not Facing the Right Direction
Your kid may be trying to use the inhaler by angling their head downwards, which makes it much more difficult for medicine to become effective as it must fight gravity. Similarly, kids who hold their heads back too far while administering the puff risk blocking the airways that the medicine is trying to reach.
Letting Air Get Out
Make sure your child knows that they must close their mouth tightly around the edges of the inhaler’s mouthpiece. If they let air or oxygen get in while they are puffing from the inhaler, the medicine may not reach its intended destination.
Spraying Multiple Times
When using a spacer, your child might not realize that the inhaler is working until after the puff hits their mouth. This can cause them to puff the inhaler several times more than the doctor prescribed. Your child can learn to hold their breath for 10 seconds before exhaling and taking another puff to prevent things from happening too fast. Make sure to schedule an appointment with your local pediatric pulmonologist if your child needs assistance getting the hang of their inhaler.