A nebulizer is a handy device that proves helpful in treating respiratory problems in adults and babies like asthma. Some call nebulizers breathing devices as they allow normal breathing while taking in medication. But how to use a nebulizer on a baby safely?
How Does a Nebulizer Work?
A nebulizer warms a liquid medication into a mist so it can be easily inhaled. This breathing equipment pumps pressurized air into the liquid then transported it into the tubing system.
Then the baby breathes in the medicine mists through the mouthpiece, and then carried through the lungs to make breathing a lot easier.
Can Nebulizers Be Used at Home?
Nebulizers are commonly used in hospitals, clinics, and at home. Anyone can purchase a handheld nebulizer or a nebulizer machine without a doctor’s prescription.
In fact, doctors recommend the availability of nebulizers at home for patients with asthma, prone to pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, severe allergies, cough, and shortness of breath.
Nebulizers are safe and effective apparatus to deliver medication to individuals with respiratory-related issues. Anywhere in the world, nebulizers are in demand and always deliver when it comes to the effectiveness of nebulizing treatment.
How to Use a Nebulizer on a Baby at Home?
Administering a nebulizer treatment to a baby can be difficult. Babies are naturally jumpy, so the process can be a challenge. Although there are no specific answers about the proper procedure, there are tips and steps that you can follow to make the job a bit easier.
First off, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water. Dry off with a clean cloth or towel. Then, follow the rest of the tips and guidelines below.
Be calm and remain focused. Babies are sensitive and can sense if you are nervous. Considering the weird appearance of the nebulizer plus attaching it to their face, it will always create that feeling of panic. Hence, you must be calm and composed when giving nebulizer treatment.
Give your baby something to play with or divert attention. It can be the favorite toy, games on gadgets, or books to distract the baby’s attention.
Utilize the Mask
Most babies start to cry or become squirmy when the mask is attached to the face. Instead, use the mask by holding it near the mouth. Or you may want to purchase a nebulizer with a pacifier to keep the process easy and simple.
Again, babies are naturally restless, so it is best to give a nebulizer treatment when the baby is sleepy. So, you can do this before bedtime, before naps, or after meals.
Make sure to hold the baby in an upright position during the nebulizer treatment. This will ensure that medication will be delivered straight to the lungs.
Swaddle the Baby
This is only applicable if the baby is more comfortable being swaddled.
Ask Your Doctor
Your baby’s primary care provider can give you insights and expert suggestions on how you can use a nebulizer on a baby at home. This will also address specific questions or concerns that you want to know before doing it at home. Regardless if you are a first-time mother or experienced, a pediatrician is equipped with the knowledge and experience to answer your nebulizer-related questions.
Now that you know the basics, here’s how to use the nebulizer for your baby.
Wash or sanitize your hands first before holding the nebulizer
Then, assemble the nebulizer. Fill the nebulizer with the prescribed medication from your pediatrician following the correct dosage.
Close the medicine cup properly and connect the end to the tube. Do the same on the other end of the tube and connect to the nebulizer.
Let the baby wear the mask by attaching the holder to the back of the head. Or if the baby starts to cry or any signs of discomfort, consider holding and positioning the mask near the baby’s mouth.
Hold the baby in an upright position on your lap or let the baby sit in a high chair If possible. Then, switch on the nebulizer to start the treatment.
Wait and hold the baby in a comfortable position until the medication is delivered.
Switch off the machine after the treatment or when the medicine cup is empty.
Unplug the nebulizer; pull the pieces apart, clean, rinse, and air dry.
How To Ensure If Treatment Works?
Babies will cry or will attempt to remove the nebulizer mouthpiece especially during the first few nebulizer treatments. However, this can be lessened if not avoided at all by doing trying these tips.
Let your baby become comfortable with the nebulizer. You can give it a name or make up stories about it to make the process fun, engaging, and exciting. If not, look for a nebulizer with colorful pediatric masks to ease the baby’s awkwardness or fear. A dragon, fish, or puppy mask will also lessen the discomfort.
If the baby is asthmatic, the nebulizer treatment should be incorporated into the baby’s routine. Doing so will make the baby feel more comfortable and familiar with the practice.
Always do the treatment in an enjoyable environment. Place the baby on your lap for security and a cozy feeling. Or if possible, let the baby sit on a high chair. Do whatever pleases the baby, whatever makes the baby safe and secure.
Nebulizers or handheld nebulizers are a safe and good option for babies with breathing or respiratory issues. With proper use and always following the doctor’s advice and dosage, these breathing machines help clear congestion when babies have difficulties in breathing due to cold, cough, or respiratory infections.
A doctor may recommend the purchase of a compressor nebulizer so you can administer treatment at home. Just follow the doctor’s recommendations on how to use a nebulizer on a baby safely. But if symptoms still show after nebulizer treatment, contact your pediatrician right away.
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