Inhalers can be great options for managing children’s asthma, and it’s important for kids to feel familiar and comfortable with their use.
Asthma inhalers are portable, hand-held devices that deliver medication to your lungs. They are used to help prevent or treat asthma attacks.
Types of inhalers
There are two types of inhalers: metered dose and dry powder.
Metered dose inhalers are the most common and spray out a mist of liquid medicine that you breathe in, versus dry powder inhalers that deliver medicine in a powder form to the lungs.
It is recommended that people of all ages use a spacer when using a metered dose inhaler. Spacers are inhaler attachments that hold medication between the inhaler and the mouth after it’s released, and help ensure all of the medication reaches the lungs.
Your child’s doctor will help you decide which inhaler is the best fit.
At what age can my child use an inhaler?
Metered dose inhalers with spacers can be used for children as young as infancy. Though dependent on the child, at 5 or 6 years old, some children can begin to administer their own medication using a metered dose inhaler with a spacer, but should be under parent supervision when they do.
It’s important that inhalers are used correctly, so practice makes perfect!
Getting Your Child Involved
Helping your child to be an active participant in his or her asthma management will help them take their medication on time, every time.
Having and going over an asthma action plan together is one way to engage your child. This plan is written with your child’s doctor, and includes medicine to take, possible triggers, and what to do in the case of a full-blown flare up.
It is especially important to stress two key concepts to children: they should take their long-term control medicines even when feeling well, and they must keep their quick-relief medicine on hand, no matter where they are.