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Asthma UK community forum
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Improving the Spacer Device

I am in my final year studying a BSc in product design and for my minor project and I intend to design a spacer for children under five. The current spacer devices on the market are functional but does not evoke positive emotions which makes it hard to administer the medication willingly. My daughter who is 4, has been diagnosed with asthma and I initially found it very difficult to get her to use it and she still does not like to use it 8 months later. The main topic of study is emotional design and want to try and evoke positive emotions from the device so children want to use it and gain a sense of achievement.

Does anybody else share these difficulties?

Do you think this is a good idea for a project and why?

Does anyone have any ideas or information?

1 Reply

Hi Mark

there is another thread from another BCc student (must be that time of year!!)

anyway my son is 3 1/2 and been using inhalers on/off since he was a baby. After having to use it every day at least twice a day for over a year we've found that emotionally he's not too bad. Although when he's having a spatt he does tend to get upset/distressed esp if we have to give it in middle of night. We've found this worse since being but on volumatic as opposed to 'baby haler'. He doesn't like the volumatic at all but i'm not sure why . His dad (he's sat next to me!!) thinks it's because it obsures his vision (he can't see round/past it - also don't think he likes the clicking noise of valve.

Baby haler was long and thin -has 2 flexible valves that moved when breathing in and out - so was silent.

Also we don't have a problem with teddy bear inhalers. Just the volumatic!!!!

We've been told that they want him to use volumatic as it more effectivley administers meds - but not sure of how /whys of this.

as a parent i'm not bothered about what's on spacer - i want a spacer that's easy to clean - easy to take apart and that's compact for taking out and about.

I don't think that having pictures -stickers etc on spacers necessarily help with 'emotional' issues of taking meds - they may help for some children but not mine!!!

we use volumatic at home and teddy bear inhalers out and about as they are more compact. Althoug i've been informed (via other thread) that you can get spacer called 'able' haler or similar into which the actual inhalers fit for storage. as they only just don't fit into teddy bear one. (sorry if this sounds very confusing - technical language not my forte!)

hope that helps and good luck



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