Asthma in Children: Helping a Child Use a Metered-Dose Inhaler and Mask Spacer

Asthma in Children: Helping a Child Use a Metered-Dose Inhaler and Mask Spacer

Introduction

The medicines used for asthma are often delivered through a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). Using an MDI with a mask spacer:

  • Helps a young child get an accurate dose of medicine.
  • Delivers most of a measured dose of medicine directly to your child's lungs.
  • Can help keep your child's asthma symptoms under control and allow your child to live an active life.
  • May prevent or reduce side effects of the medicine.
  • May let your child use less medicine than is found in a pill but get the same effect.
  • May result in the medicine working faster than a pill form.

How to help your child use a metered-dose inhaler with a mask spacer

Before using a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) with a mask spacer:

  1. Talk with your doctor to be sure that you know how to use the MDI and mask spacer correctly. Be sure your child uses them exactly as your doctor has prescribed.
  2. Depending on his or her age, teach your child how to check that he or she has the correct medicine. If your child uses several inhalers, put a label on each one so that he or she knows which one to use at the right time. Consider using different colors or stickers to help your child see the difference between medicines.
  3. Check the label of the inhaler medicine to see how many inhalations should be in the canister. If you and your child know how many breaths he or she can take, the inhaler can be replaced before it runs out. Learn how to test the canister to estimate how much medicine is left. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you and your child with this.

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 5, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

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