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How do i get my 2 year old to use inhaler?

My two year old has been given an inhaler with a spacer after a trip to A+E with wheezing, gasping shortness of breath and a terrible cough. The doctor was not happy to say it was definitely asthma but we have an inhaler to use over the next week. Neither in hospital or at home have we had any success! She eventually had a nebuliser wafted under her nose in hospital. I have tried everything from softly softly, to bribery, to pinning her down and i just can't see how it is possible to keep it on her face. She will happily give teddy medecine and practice without the inhaler on but simply holds her breath and fights me when i try. Any ideas?

6 Replies

no easy way i'm afraid but if you go to your local chemist you can get a rubber mask/ moupiece that fits on the end of your spacer and all you have to do is get her to breathe normally. you could even try when asleep. keep pratising on teddy!


with my cousin has an inhaler with a mask actually on the end and can cry sometimes but he is getting the drug far more deeper into the lungs. sometimes one for teddy one for mummy one for him worked when he was younger even though he made a screaming fuss on his turn!! . also reward charts may work. it is a very new scary thing for her my cousin did all this last year after he was first diagnosed with asthma after he had infection after infection that never cleared up which has left him with asthma that is only bad when he has colds but he still requires medication. with his first inhaler's he soon realised he would get it no matter how much of a fuss he made and soon stopped struggling if you are worried go and see the practise nurse and see the asthma one if you have one. best of luck spider


Try making it into a game including teddy as she seems comfortable with him ,maybe stickers on the spacer as thay can seem doughting to a small child, dont force as this will oonly put her off and scare her more. Its difficult for all off you.

Andrea xxx


I did have problems with my son although a long time ago but as already said decorate the spacer. Use some stickers and let your child put them on. Try games but also think that they are likely to be frightened so may be you do it, then they do it once then teddy does it. See if child can do it better than teddy etc

There are lots of tricks but like everything with a child they will test you to limits if they know you want them ot do something.

Have you got any firends with children who use inhalers that could come round and say look I do it instead of you just to get them started.


I used to sing nursery rhymes while we did it and that wroked for my kids. Do you have a mask bit if so can do it while asleep but its trial and error as to what works even if she is screaming thats ok taking good deep breaths at least!



You're doing all the rights things, it's just perseverence. Songs and TV programmes may help - anything that's distracting. Using the inhaler while they are asleep is better than nothing, but is not as effective as children take shallow breaths when they are sleeping.

I've been told two techniques for giving spacers. Number one is child on lap, sideways. One arm behind you, which will leave your left arm free to hold their free arm. You then have another hand for the inhaler.

The other is to sit your child between your legs in front of their favourite TV programme, leaning against your chest (helps to have big boobs her to pin their head in place!) with your arm right round them holding their ams. you then have your other arm free for the spacer. It's just trial and error finding which way will suit.

As long as you remain calm, quiet and firm, eventually she will start to accept the spacer.

If you're using a preventer, don't forget to wipe her face after giving it.


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