If your child is diagnosed with asthma, RSV, or another type of serious respiratory illness, your child's doctor may prescribe regular breathing treatments to open up the airways and make it easier for your child to breathe. During a breathing treatment, you will put prescription inhalation aerosols into a medical device called a nebulizer; when the nebulizer is turned on it will create a fine mist and your child will be able to inhale the medication that he or she needs.
While breathing treatments can be very beneficial for a child, it can be difficult to get a toddler to cooperate. Use the following tips to make administering a breathing treatment to a toddler easier:
Get a Pediatric Nebulizer
When you find out that your child will need to do breathing treatments, talk to your child's doctor or a local medical supply company about getting a pediatric nebulizer. These types of nebulizers are often designed to look like cute animals, so they can be very visually appealing. Your child may be more willing to cooperate with the breathing treatment if he or she likes the look of the nebulizer and thinks it is cute.
Let your Child Hold the Mask
Many young children get upset when the nebulizer mask is placed on their face and the strap are placed around their head. Try letting your toddler hold the mask to his or her face without using the straps, with your assistance if needed. This can give your child more of a sense of control and make a breathing treatment less scary.
One of the best things that you can do during a breathing treatment is distract your child so he or she will be willing to sit still for the whole course of the treatment. Try putting on your child's favorite movie or let him or her play an educational game on a tablet while he or she is doing a breathing treatment.
Make It a Fun Game
Try making breathing treatments fun by letting your child participate. Try purchasing an extra nebulizer mask, and let your child pretend to give breathing treatments to his or her stuffed animals and dolls while your administering his or her breathing treatment. You can also pretend that your child is a dragon, and that the mist blowing through the nebulizer is smoke that your child is blowing out of his or her nose.