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Ask the Allergist

Ask the Allergist

How Do I Teach My Child to Properly Use an Inhaler By Themself?

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My kid is a social butterfly and not always with me, like on playdates. What are some ways I can teach my kid to use their inhaler so I can be confident they are using it correctly?

First and foremost, your healthcare provider and team should show your child how to properly use an inhaler. This should be practiced in the office with a trainer device and your child should be watched by the clinic staff. This will ensure correct technique. Here are some steps to review with your child:

  • Remove the cap of the inhaler.
  • Shake inhaler.
  • Breathe out fully.
  • Close lips around the mouthpiece.
  • Press down on the canister one time to release the medicine.
  • Breathe in slowly and deeply.
  • Hold breath for 5-10 seconds.
  • Breathe normally for 60 seconds before repeating.
  • Repeat steps 2 – 10 for the second puff.
Asthma, Medicines, Prevention, Treatment
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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