The Asthma Corner

Asthma medication delivery devices

Administering spacer with mouthpiece

The following methods work in children who are able to take a deep breath when asked to, usually by about age 4 years and up.

Instructions

  1. Prepare the canister aerosol medication (metered dose inhaler, or "puffer") by removing the cap, shaking the canister, and placing it "tail up" in the medication end of the spacer.

  2. Ask your child to breathe out to empty his/her lungs.

  3. Place the mouthpiece of the spacer in your child's mouth, his/her lips snug around it, teeth open, tongue down out of the way.

  4. Ask your child to breathe in, deeply and slowly.

  5. He/she should hold his/her breath for a count of 10 seconds if he/she can.

  6. Repeat the breathe out / breathe in / hold breath sequence, with the mouthpiece still in place to ensure that all the medication has been breathed in.

Helpful hints

  • Rinse your device with warm tap water weekly and let it dry in room air.
  • If the flap valve is torn or not working properly, your device should be replaced.
  • To avoid dust accumulation, always keep the cap on when not in use.

Using inhalers properly is not always easy but can help your child enjoy successful treatment at home and less frequent trips to the hospital.

If despite your best efforts with inhaled medications your child's asthma is not well controlled or worsens, seek medical attention immediately!