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Spacers for kids, exercise induced asthma in kids

Hi, I just wanted to ask what type of spacers your kids are using? We are living in America and my daughter who is 5 was given a smallish tube where she has to take one deep breath and then keep her mouth closed for ten seconds, she found it really hard to do one good breath and so I was giving her all her meds with her nebuliser instead. Then I gave her my old spacer (from England) to use which is bigger and has a different valve so you breathe in and out for 5 or 6 breaths which is so much easier.

She is getting much better at taking her meds thankfully as she has to take her brown inhaler daily now. As well as some cold viruses setting off her asthma she has exercise induced asthma which the dr told me was unusual in such a young child and didn't normally develop until they were older. Does anyone else have a young child with this?


8 Replies

You'll find that the spacers for children fall into two models,

The paediatric volumatic, just a smaller version of the adult one and can be used with a face mask,

the other is the aero-chamber, a long cylindrical tube, again available with a face mask.

Not sure in children if one is better than the other, but for adults the volumatic has been shown to be the most effective for drug delivery.

Would add that Montelukast or Intal may be worth a try for exercise induced asthma, both shown to have very good results and I use montelukast for EIA.


My son used the ordinary (big) spacer for years. Then primary school told me to get a smaller one for going on a school trip, where teacher had to carry all his meds! I duly changed to a paediatric spacer, but following a significant deterioration in his asthma his consultant asked me casually if we were still using the large spacer. When I explained what had happened, he said to chuck the small spacer and go back to the large one. He said meds are delivered more effectively with the latter, some recent study had discredited the smaller spacer and he discourages their use now.

Re. exercise induced asthma - son has also had that from very young. He takes his reliever before, during and after PE/Games (when he does it!).


I'm really pleased to see this discussion. My four month old has just been given an inhaler for a persistent cough with a big spacer, which with everything you need for a small baby is very bulky to take with you. I was going to ask my GP for the aerochamber or a less bulky one as I assumed they would be similar in effectiveness but I won't be now!! It just proves that technology may be advancing but sometimes the old methods are still better!


we have the aerochamber with facemask for 4 yr old, also give reliever before any running around type activities.


hi all

My son was first given a volumatic with a mask when he was very small, and we used it for a few years then, our gp suggested using the smaller aerochamber, so we gave that a go. Until my son was hospitialised with a severe asthma attack. the hospital cosultant went nuts with us for allowing our son to use a aerochamber instead of volumatic. He said anyone with severe asthma should use a voumatic at all times.

(Must admit we used to get sick of different medical people telling us to do different things. It still happens now 13 years on, aaaaaaaahhhh.)

As he has got older he uses the volumatic in the house, and while out he uses the aerochamber, simply because the aerochamber fits in pockets, so he can be more active.



We were initially given a paediatric aerochamber for our daughter when she was first diagnosed.

As her Asthma has got worse, our consultant has stressed that the cylinder type ones (yellow, red etc) are terrible for delivering the drugs effectively where they are meant to be. He said the bigger the chamber the better ie the clear volumatic with mask.

He said as the child breathes in the air in, a volumatic has more suction as there is more air capacity. Whereas the air in a paediatric aerochamber isnt as pressurised as the volume isnt as great.

Apparently it pulls the drugs to the lungs quicker and more effectively. Whereas the aerochamber is slower and not as direct!

I hope that makes sense!!!!


hmmm perhaps we should request the volumatic spacer then...



Thanks for all the replies. I'm happy now that I'm using the volumatic although slightly worried that they don't seem to be available here.

Mimi's asthma has not been a problem since she's been on her preventor, she can do 90 mins gymnastics no problem. The only thing I am noticing is that when we go to the beach she is getting a bit wheezy by the end but not enough for it to make her slow down.

It's funny too that I make sure she has her meds every evening whereas I am really bad and keep forgetting to take mine...


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