Health

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Decoding the process of nebulization

Respiratory ailments are on a high amongst children during monsoons and using a nebulizer works well to ease the situation. Here's how.

Dr Preyas Vaidya

Monsoons and its related infections and diseases are at a peak. As a parent, you must be prepared and equipped to take care of your child’s medical requirements, be it a mild cough or fever. Respiratory ailments, triggered by pollution, pollen and environmental conditions, are on a high, especially amongst younger patients. Wheezing, coughing, rapid breathing, and lung infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis are a common occurrence during the season. Using a nebulizer appropriately to combat these situations is advantageous; it has many benefits as compared to other respiratory relief methods such as inhalers, and liquid medicines. Nebulizers are particularly effective in delivering asthma medications to infants and small children and to anyone who has difficulty using an asthma inhaler.

One crucial benefit of using the nebulizer is that unlike other forms of respiratory relief, nebulizer is the most effective way in children and has an immediate effect. Also, the child does not have to synchronize with the nebulizer and it can be administered even when the child is short of breath. Giving a rescue nebulizer till one can see a doctor, may help ease the child’s symptoms. But if one or two rescue nebulization does not help, it is important to visit the nearest emergency room. Ideally, parents speak to their pulmonologist or local physician to understand the best way to administer nebulization. This discussion will also help the parents understand the critical aspects of their child’s treatment and equip them with the right information.

Administering nebulization at home:

  • Place the mask on your child’s face. You may need to engage your child during the treatment to enable ease administration. Diversions such as a cartoon movie or favourite toy may help to keep them from denying you from applying the mask, or from removing it repeatedly.
  • Place the mouthpiece appropriately between your child’s teeth and lips, have them breathe in and out slowly through their mouth until all the medicine has been consumed, keeping a careful watch.
  • Turn on the machine and complete treatment which typically takes 8-10 minutes; it may take longer initially, but your child will gradually adjust and cooperate.

Tips to make your child use a nebulizer smoothly:

  • Make it part of your child’s daily routine. It is advisable to use the nebulizer at the same time each day, so your child knows what to expect.
  • You may let your child beautify the nebulizer machine with stickers, this will soothe his emotions.
  • Make your little one sit on your lap to make the child feel comfortable.
  • For a restless baby, try using the nebulizer when your child is asleep.
  • Appreciate your child; you might give him a small “prize” to reward your child for cooperating.

(Dr Vaidya is Consultant Pulmonologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, Mumbai)
(Image from Pixabay)

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