‘Nebulizer for babies’ – Did this phrase scare you?
Is nebulization for babies safe?
Are there any side effects of nebulization in infants?
Is nebulization for kids a safe practice?
And last but not least – What is a nebulizer?
When it comes to nebulization, especially for kids, there are so many questions!
The place where I stay, a sudden drop in temperature triggers illnesses. To add to that my little one has started playschool. He has been trading germs, apart from the toys, with his friends.
At times I wish for some sort of miracle shield to protect my kid from these nasty micro monsters rather than battling each and every time.
He contracted the flu quite a few times and each time he had ended up with bad nasal congestion which made it really difficult for him to breathe at night.
Nebulization was what helped during such bad nights as it provides temporary but great relief.
So through this article, I hope to debunk some common myths and misunderstandings about nebulization so that it can help you if the need arises.
Having a baby would come with a lot of responsibilities such as taking care of their health, needs, and much more. Being a parent, it becomes your major responsibility to look after your child’s health and take necessary precautions to protect them from any kind of illness. Whether it is a normal cold or a severe illness, you take immediate action and care for your child. However, there are several signs when your child may need a nebulizer and you might miss these signs or mix it with other symptoms. A nebulizer for baby congestion makes the treatment a lot easier, in case your child is too afraid to use other alternatives.
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Signs your child needs a nebulizer
There are several signs such as asthma, watery eyes, and severe stuffy nose which indicates that you may need to get a nebulizer machine for the baby. There are several more conditions under which you may need to get a nebulizer for baby cough, these include chronic bronchitis, COPD, allergies, flu, wheezing, coughing, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, delayed recovery from bronchitis, and infection of the upper respiratory tract. The nebulizer for baby congestions works by transferring congestion relief medicine into your baby’s lungs to provide them ease in respiratory problems.
Due to seasonal triggers, the symptoms of the various respiratory disorders including asthma may vary in the babies and children. In order to protect your child’s growing lungs from the damage of respiratory diseases, consult a doctor as soon as you come across any signs of respiratory disorder in your child.
Uses and benefits of nebulizer machine for baby
The pediatric nebulizer for baby cough is either used without medicine for treating normal cough and cold symptoms or with a medicine recommended by the doctor to treat the severe respiratory disorder. To get rapid relief from a blocked nose or chest congestion, one can give a saline solution or saline water to their baby either once or twice a day using a nebulizer machine. The nebulizer works by loosening and moistening the mucus in your baby’s throat. The nebulizer treatment generally lasts for about 15 minutes every 6 hours. There are various other uses and benefits of nebulizer for baby congestions. These include:
- Unlike oral medicines, nebulization medicine is a much faster way to treat respiratory disorders. It works by going straight into the lungs of your child and loosens the mucus in their throat.
- A nebulizer is much safer as compared to oral medicines. As oral medicines are always measured in milligrams (mg) when given to a child. But when it comes to giving nebulizer to your child, the medicine is always measured in micrograms (mcg).
- There are very fewer chances of having side-effects from a nebulizer as compared to oral medicines, as their dosage is very less.
- Sometimes the babies are either too active or scared to wear a mask, which makes it more difficult to carry out their treatment. To ensure that your baby gets treated well without having the fear of wearing a mask, one can use the nebulizer machine while the baby is deep in sleep.
- Nebulizers are the most effective way of providing treatment for your baby if they are suffering from any respiratory disorder. It comes as the best alternative when your child faces problems while using inhalers or mouthpiece.
- If your child is suffering from a severe respiratory disorder such as bronchitis and asthma, then it is advisable to keep a nebulizer machine at home. In such cases, your child needs to get repeated nebulizing to make life easier and get effective relief from the problem.
- A nebulizer is an effective way of treating normal cough and cold. It provides quick relief and helps in reducing the fuss.
Side-effects of using nebulizer machine for baby
Nebulizer has been proven to be an effective way of getting relief from the problem of respiratory disorders over oral medications. However, using a nebulizer for baby cough does come with some side-effects on the baby. Prescribed saline solution for normal problems and respiratory issues is completely safe for babies and children. The potential side-effects arise when the inhalable steroids are used in the nebulizer medicine. Although, it is a very rare case. These are possible side-effects of nebulizer when used with inhalable steroids:
- The child may experience irritation and dryness in their throat.
- In some cases, your child might complain of experiencing heartburns.
- Your child may experience the feeling of nausea or a bad taste in the mouth.
- If there is an improper mixing of medicine, then it might result in other problems such as nose bleeding and stomach pain in your child.
- It is advisable to wash the nebulizer cup after every use, as unclean nebulizer can lead to stomach pain and several other issues.
How to make babies comfortable using a nebulizer?
In several cases, the babies and children feel uncomfortable and even scared while using a mask and you are not able to carry out the treatment perfectly. It will further lead to a delay in the relief from a respiratory disorder. To ensure full benefits form the nebulizer treatment, it is important to make your child feel comfortable with using a nebulizer. Here are some ways which may help you make your child feel comfortable with using the nebulizer, these include:
- Turn it into a fun activity: Using a nebulizer to treat your child’s respiratory issue may sound easy but it isn’t. Your child is not going to sit still for a long time wearing a mask. Children cooperate in those things which they find fun and interesting. To make it successful, you can play songs, read their favorite storybook to sing their rhyme to make them sit in one place.
- Let them decorate the mask: Let your child decorate the mask with their favorite stickers. It will make the mask appear appealing to them and your child finds it comfortable to use.
15 FAQS about nebulization for babies you need to know:
Recently a dear friend of mine had concerns over nebulization for her daughter. The little girl had chest congestion for which the doctor had suggested nebulization. Like any other mom, my friend was worried whether nebulization had any side effects.
I felt I could write about nebulizer, myths associated with nebulization and all the frequently asked questions about nebulizing a baby with answers.
#1. What is nebulization or nebulised therapy?
Nebulization is also termed as breathing treatment. It is a process of delivering a medicine or a combination of medicines using a nebulizer for immediate relief.
#2. What is a nebuliser or nebulizer?
A nebulizer is a machine which holds a small quantity of any specific medicated solution or normal saline. This solution is then converted into an aerosol, which is a mixture of gas and liquid particles.
The aerosol is inhaled through one’s nose/mouth with or without the help of a face mask.
#3. How does a nebulizer work?
You might be wondering what does a nebulizer dose.
Nebulizers disperse the solutions into a tiny cloud of airborne water droplets either by using oxygen, ultrasonic power, or compressed air. This is then inhaled by the person providing them immediate relief.
#4. What are the types of medicines used for nebulization?
You can use nebulizers in two ways:
- With a non-medicated liquid
The non-medicated liquid is normal saline which is commonly used to help a dry nose by moistening the mucous membrane.
- With a medicated liquid
Medicated liquids are used for patients with respiratory diseases like allergic rhinitis, asthma, COPD ,and in few cystic fibrosis cases.
For asthma patients, bronchodilators, or a combo of bronchodilators and corticosteroids are used.
#5. How can nebulization help my child suffering from a blocked nose and a bad cold?
Nebulization helps to moisten the dry mucous membrane.
Apart from that, it clears your little one’s dry and stuffy nose by loosening the mucous trapped in the airways. This dilates their respiratory passage and makes it easier for them to breathe.
#6. Heard that nebulization is only for adults and not for babies and children. Is it true?
It’s a misconception. Nebulization is very effective and good for small children.
It is difficult for small children to spit out the sputum like older children or adults. So nebulization for babies is very effective in providing relief from breathing difficulty due to a stuffy nose.
You can also refer to the home remedies for stuffy nose in babies and kids.
#7. Is nebulization to be done only by those suffering from asthma?
I have seen many of my friends who are scared of nebulization treatment for their kids thinking it is only for asthmatic patients. This is yet another misconception.
For many conditions like asthma, COPD, bronchiolitis, cystic fibrosis, and for a few other respiratory diseases, nebulization is offered.
#8. Are nebulizer and inhaler the same thing?
No, both are different.
An asthma inhaler is used to breathe in asthma medicine either in the form of mist or fine dry powder through the mouth. It’s a small device one can easily hold in hand and requires no electric supply to operate.
For kids who find it difficult to use an asthma inhaler, a nebulizer seems very effective to deliver asthma medications.
#9. Can we use nebulizers at home?
Yes, you can safely use a nebulizer at home. But, DO NOT use any medicated solutions other than normal saline in nebulizer without consulting your doctor.
Nebulizers for home come in tabletop and portable models. They require an electric supply to operate.
The nebulizer price depends on the make and model.
Philips REF-1093268 Sami the Seal Nebulizer, Omron NE-C28 Compressor Nebulizer, Nulife Handyneb Pistontype Compressor Nebulizer, Omron NE-C803 Compressor Nebulizer and Omron HIGH VOLUME Nebulizer Compressor (NE-C25S) Nebulizer NEW VERSION C25 are the branded nebulizers available in the market.
#10. Can I use nebulizer at home for various respiratory illnesses other than nasal congestion?
A big no!!!
Consult your kid’s doctor before using a nebulizer machine at home if you are using it for anything other than congestion related to normal cold. They will consider a number of factors before deciding whether or not to give you a nebulizer and will train you on how to use the machine, how to look after it etc.
#11. Does my child need to take deep breaths during nebulization?
No, your child can breathe normally. The mouthpiece should be pointed towards their nostrils.
#12. Is it true that nebulizer medicine uses a high dosage of medicines?
The dosage of medicine used in nebulizers is very less as compared to medicines given orally. So that puts the worry to an end.
#13. Does nebulization cause any side effects to my child?
Side effects are far less or nil when compared to oral medicines such as syrups and tablets.
#14. Does nebulization cause addiction?
The difference between nebulization and other treatments is the mode of delivering medicines.
The mode of delivering medicines doesn’t cause addiction. And that is why there is a 100 % assurance that your kid won’t be addicted to it.
Normally, we give medicines to kids orally. Does that make them addicted to those medicines? So there’s your answer.
#15. How to choose a home nebulizer?
If you want to buy a nebulizer, here are the things to be taken into consideration.
- It should be reasonably priced.
- Should be easy to operate and should be compact.
- Should deliver the medicated or non-medicated solutions in the form of aerosol through the mouthpiece constantly.
- The cleaning procedures of nebulizer accessories like nebulizer cups, mouthpieces, etc after use should be simple
- It shouldn’t be too noisy as kids usually do get scared of loud noises and will hesitate to undergo nebulization.
- Do thorough research before buying a well-branded nebulizer and check with the vendor about the shelf life of nebulizer accessories without fail. There are reusable and disposable type accessories.
- Get the complete information about the sterilization, cleaning, and storage process and strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
First of all, mommies don’t panic if your kid’s doctor suggests nebulization treatment to clear up your kid’s stuffy nose next time.
Secondly, it is not at all compulsory to have a nebulizer at home.
Thirdly, if you own one, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly.
And lastly, don’t use any medicated solutions other than normal saline in nebulizers without your doctor’s prescription or consultation.
Hope this has cured you of your fear of nebulizers and nebulization for babies.
Have you done nebulization for your kid? If you have, were you worried too about the side effects?
Does your kid gets cranky during the nebulization process or is he fine with it? Do share it with me in the comments.
Mommies, if you have any other questions, feel free to comment below.