A nebuliser is a device for people with certain lung conditions which dissolves medication into a mist which is inhaled via a mouthpiece or mask in order to reach the affected areas quickly and effectively.
Over the summer months Theo struggled with his asthma due to his pollen allergy. Inhalers and montekulast just weren’t cutting it so after a discussion with his consultant it was decided he needed a nebuliser at home. I knew that this wasn’t going to be easy, he only just tolerates his inhalers! We have the Omron NE-C801KD children’s nebuliser which comes with two little figures which sit just in front of the mask to work as a distraction.
As suspected, Theo hated using the nebuliser at first, but after a few weeks and lots of perseverance he became calmer and more tolerant to it. Here I share my top tips for making nebuliser use with a child a little easier.
- Use a spare mouthpiece/mask in pretend play, use teddies or dolls to simulate using the nebuliser.
- Don’t hide it away when not in use – store the nebuliser somewhere safe but visible. If a child see’s it as ‘part of the furniture’ so to speak, it’ll become more familiar.
- Allow the child to help, let them put on their own mask or let them flick the switch with assistance.
- Switch the nebuliser on before putting on the mask. The feel of the mist and/or mask can be overwhelming for some children, if the mask is dispersing mist before being placed on the face it won’t feel such a shock.
- Distraction is key. Put on their favourite programme, read them a book, sing to them, talk to them. Try as hard as you can to take their mind off it.
- Make it magical – I saw a huge improvement in Theo’s tolerance once I told him the nebuliser was a machine that gave him super powers!
Using a nebuliser can be upsetting for both child and parent. Following these tips may reduce stress and make for a more pleasant experience.