Really struggling using spacer with 2 year old

My son is 2 and was diagnosed with asthma a few days after his 2nd birthday, after having quite a bad asthma attack (had been suspected for a while but official diagnosis tile he had the attack).

We are really struggling to get him to take his daily steroid inhaler; we have both the little yellow spacer with the bears on and the bit clear one with the round mouthpiece. He hates both of them. We have tried putting stickers on the spacer, using a sticker chart, using the spacer on his toys, letting him handle it himself, explaining why he needs it... But it generally ends up that we have to hold him still to get him to have it (which results in us not really knowing if he is getting his full dosage) and is also very distressing for all of us, to the point that my husband and I dread the time we have to give it to him as we know how much it upsets him.

Please, does anyone have any suggestions, or did they go through anything similar with their children at this age? Will get it better as he gets older?

Thanks

Beth x

5 Replies

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  • I don't have any personal experience of this but supporting a friend who's 2 year old has been diagnosed recently and her paediatrician said don't worry if her little girl is crying/upset as she will be taking deeper breaths and getting more of the medication in.

  • It does get easier as they get used to it. My son has had inhalers since he was 19 months old and he's now 4 and helps me with pressing down the top of the inhaler (he likes to feel involved) while I hold his spacer. To begin with I had a spare spacer and let him play around with it. I think eventually they realise that it does help them and as hard as it is now you just have to preservere.

  • It will get easier I promise! My daughter was 20mths when she was first given a spacer and an inhaler. It felt like we were torturing her to begin with as it was such a battle to get her to take it!

    The nurses taught us a position to help make sure the correct dose is given. It is called the ""crucifix"" (sounds horrid I know) put the child's head in between your legs and put their arms underneath your legs so that they are stuck, keep their legs free so that they can kick and scream as much as they want but can't escape. It doesn't matter how much they cry or scream, it will mean the dose gets in there better.

    After a few weeks of this (believe me I didn't like doing it) our daughter realised she had to have it done and happily led down on the floor for us to give her the inhalers.

  • It will get easier I promise! My daughter was 20mths when she was first given a spacer and an inhaler. It felt like we were torturing her to begin with as it was such a battle to get her to take it!

    The nurses taught us a position to help make sure the correct dose is given. It is called the ""crucifix"" (sounds horrid I know) put the child's head in between your legs and put their arms underneath your legs so that they are stuck, keep their legs free so that they can kick and scream as much as they want but can't escape. It doesn't matter how much they cry or scream, it will mean the dose gets in there better.

    After a few weeks of this (believe me I didn't like doing it) our daughter realised she had to have it done and happily led down on the floor for us to give her the inhalers.

    Just want to thank you Eviesmummy - this position has really helped, we are doing the inhaler much quicker, and my son is coming down on the floor (although still protesting at the moment, but he is coming) to have it. I think it maybe makes him feel a bit safer somehow, rather than us trying to hold him and him wriggling free and it being a huge horrible ordeal for us all - still an ordeal but I am thinking now that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Best of all and most importantly, I think we are getting more of the dosage into him, and he seems to be calmer quicker afterwards.

    Really can't thank you enough - hope you see this message! x

  • Thank you everyone, that position does sound like it would work, although I already feel dreadful just thinking about it. But at least if he was still rather than thrashing about we could do it quicker and it would be over with. I'm hoping we will see an improvement soon, the bittersweet thing at the moment is he's actually reminding us that its time to do it, but then as soon as he sees it, he's off.

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