Patient Information

How to use your children metered dose inhaler

How to use your children metered dose inhaler::

Do I need to do anything to get my child’s inhaler ready? — Yes. Before you use a metered dose inhaler for the first time, you need to get it ready. To do this, you:

  • Take the cap off the mouthpiece
  • Shake the inhaler for 5 seconds (figure 1)
  • Press down on the canister to spray the medicine into the air (away from your face)
  • Repeat these steps 3 more times

If your child hasn’t used the inhaler for more than 2 weeks, you need to follow the steps above before using the inhaler again.

After the inhaler is ready, your child can use it as prescribed.

How should my child use the inhaler? — Each inhaler has its own directions. Your doctor or nurse will show you how your child should use his or her inhaler.

Almost all children with asthma use an inhaler with a “spacer.” A spacer is a device that attaches to the inhaler’s mouthpiece (figure 2). When a person presses down on the canister, the medicine sprays into the spacer and sits there until he or she breathes it in. Some spacers also come with a face mask.

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In general, to use your child’s metered dose inhaler, you:

  • Take the cap off the mouthpiece
  • Shake the inhaler for 5 seconds
  • Hold the inhaler upright with 1 finger on the top of the canister, the thumb on the bottom of the inhaler, and your other hand holding the spacer
  • Have your child breathe out normally
  • Have your child close his or her lips around the mouthpiece of the spacer. If the spacer has a face mask, hold the face mask snugly over your child’s mouth and nose.
  • Press down on the canister
  • After you press down on the canister, have your child breathe in deeply and slowly and hold his or her breath for 5 to 10 seconds
  • Have your child let his or her breath out
  • Have your child breathe in again, hold the breath for 5 to 10 seconds, and let it out
  • If your child is supposed to take 2 puffs of the inhaler, wait 15 to 30 seconds before you give the second puff. Shake the inhaler again before the second puff.
  • Put the cap back on the mouthpiece
  • If the inhaler is a steroid medicine (glucocorticoid), have your child rinse out his or her mouth, gargle, and spit out the water
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Do I need to clean the inhaler? — Yes. If your child uses the inhaler every day, you need to clean it at least once a week. If your child doesn’t use the inhaler every day, you can clean it less often. To know when you need to clean it, look inside the mouthpiece. Clean the inhaler when you see powder in or around the hole.To clean an inhaler, you:

  • Remove the canister and cap from the mouthpiece. Do not wash the canister or put the canister under water.
  • Run warm water through the mouthpiece for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Shake the water off of the mouthpiece and let it air dry

Do I need to clean the spacer? — Yes. If your child uses the spacer each day, you should clean it every 1 to 2 weeks. Wash it with warm water and dishwashing soap, rinse it, and let it air dry.If your child uses an InspirEase chamber every day, replace the bag every 1 to 2 weeks (figure 2). Clean the mouthpiece in warm water, rinse it, and let it air dry. Do not wash the bag.How do I know if my child’s inhaler is empty? — Some inhalers come with a built-in dose counter (figure 3). A counter keeps track of how many doses are left in the inhaler.When the counter reads 0 (zero), it’s time to throw out the inhaler. That’s because there is no more medicine in it. Make sure to have another inhaler on hand before the counter reads 0.If the inhaler doesn’t have a built-in counter, you need to keep track of the number of doses left in it. Based on how often your child uses the inhaler, you can figure out when he or she will need a refill and write this date down

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