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How to get a toddler to use an asthma inhaler?

(8 Posts)
giddykipper Fri 17-Oct-08 19:46:51

The doc thinks DS (17 months) is suffering from mild asthma and has prescribed an inhaler to help stop his nighttime coughing.

Question - any tips on how to get him to use it?

It has the spacer and mask which he and I covered in ITNG stickers. So far I've just let him play with it and I've pretended to use it in the hope that he will copy me. The doctor suggested we play astronauts - as if a 17 month old has any flippin' idea what an astronaut is.

cmotdibbler Fri 17-Oct-08 19:53:36

We succeded by everyone (recruit anyone around - our friends do a great job on this) having a puff (we just make a puff noise) and counting slowly to 5 - then huge over the top applause etc. TBH if DS won't cooperate then we do restrain him and give him his inhaler, but still count, and he is usually calm after a count of 2.

DS is 2.5 and has had an inhaler since 8 months - it is much easier now, and he actually asks for his brown and blue puffs

2point4kids Fri 17-Oct-08 19:58:41

DS1 has just turned 3 and has had his inhaler since he was a small toddler.
He hatedit at first. The only thing that really worked was singing his special song when he does the inhaler!
He still thinks the inhaler is called a 'doo-da' as the song we sing goes 'doo da doo da doooo da' etc
Put the mask on your face, sing the song and do a big smile, then the same on Daddy and anyone else you can rope in.
Then put the mask on Ds, sing the song and if he starts to look worried or cry, then keep the mask there, keep singing but sing close up to his neck so it tickles or pull funny faces too. That always worked with DS.
My DS sits there good as gold now and sings the song himself quietly under the mask bless him.

Sazisi Fri 17-Oct-08 19:59:11

Making it a game is a good idea.
I don't know if yours is the same, but our spacer has a little picture on the side of a teddybear using the inhaler. I used to point to the pictures and tell a story about the spacer making the teddy all better

giddykipper Fri 17-Oct-08 20:11:29

I've just been looking at the asthma uk website and it suggests using it while they are asleep - seems like a sensible idea.

How do you get them to take deep breaths / hold their breath, or don't we really worry about that at this stage?

fadingfast Fri 17-Oct-08 20:20:18

Ours also had a teddy picture on the side so we made a big thing of giving his teddy a puff and letting him have a go. We called it 'teddy medicine' and that seemed to do the trick.

2point4kids Fri 17-Oct-08 20:24:47

Dont worry about the deep breaths/holdng breath.
Just watch the valve on the spacer, when it flaps they are breathing out so count 5 breaths for each puff of the inhaler.

Doing it while asleep works well on my DS2 (8 months) but DS1 who is 3 tosses and turns as soon as it goes near his face and its just impossible!

ponjii Tue 13-Nov-12 22:08:54

I have a very wheezy two year old and up until recently getting him to take his inhaler has been a nightmare. But we've cracked it and thought I would share! He's really into Thomas so we relate it all to Thomas. We press the inhaler and show him the steam coming out. Then we put it into the tunnel (the spacer). He then chooses which engine he wants to be and where he wants to go. So he can be Thomas chuffing to Knapford Station - he goes into the tunnel (puts spacer onto his mouth), out comes the steam (we press the inhaler) and off he chuffs (breathing) to Knapford Station! Sometimes he's Gordon going to the docks (big slow breaths for Gordon) or Emily going to Tidmouth Sheds (little puffs for Emily) etc etc. You get the picture! If your child is a Thomas fan then I really recommend trying this. You feel a bit of a wally chuffing up Gordon's Hill together but it works! Even better if you have an older sibling - we gave them a spare spacer and an inhaler and they pretend to race my two year old up the hill. Sometimes they do it walking round the house, chuffing together. Hope this helps someone, such a relief he can now breathe again!

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