Inhalers and spacers are a crucial part of asthma management. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Kim Mowery explains, and then demonstrates with her daughter Kamryn, how to use them properly.
Kim Mowery: Hi, I’m Kim Mowery, one of the pediatric nurse practitioners at MD Pediatric Associates. Today I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss the proper use of inhalers in asthma management.
Asthma Management: Inhalers for Kids and Teens
Kim Mowery: Metered dose inhalers such as ProAir and ADVAIR are important parts of any asthma action plan, and therefore we want to make sure that they’re being used appropriately. In order to achieve this, we recommend the use of a spacer. A spacer is designed to allow the medication to be delivered into the chamber, and then allow the child to take a breath from the chamber, ensuring that the medication goes into the lungs and not deposit in the mouth.
Young children need to use a mask with the spacer to make sure that it’s as effective as possible. Older kids often times can use it without the mask and still be as effective.
This is my daughter Kamryn. She’s 8 years old and she’s going to show us how to use our inhaler with the chamber. The first time we’re going to use it without the mask. She’s old enough to use it without the mask, so we’re going to show you that first. The most important thing is to have your child standing up while they do this. So Kamryn is going to take a big breath in, blow it out, then you’re going to place the chamber in her mouth. One pump, big breath in, hold it for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and then blow the breath out. Most of the time we’ll do two pumps, but you want to separate them by a minute in between each pump.
Mask and Spacer
Kim Mowery: The next way we’re going to show you is when you use a mask for those younger kids who may not be able to put their mouth around the chamber properly. Same thing, in the standing position, this time though you want to put the mask directly to their face from the top of the nose to the middle of the chin. You’re going to press on the inhaler one time, and then have them take 3-5 breaths in and out, holding the mask on their face the whole time. And that’s all you have to do for that one.
Our goal at MD Pediatrics is to make sure that every child who has asthma, and their parents, are comfortable with the use of a spacer and an inhaler. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.