A metered-dose inhaler lets your child breathe medicine directly into their lungs. "Metered-dose" means that the inhaler gives a measured amount of medicine each time your child uses it. This type of inhaler delivers medicine in the form of a liquid mist.
Using a spacer makes it easier for your child get the medicine in their lungs. A spacer is a chamber that attaches to the inhaler. The spacer holds the dose of medicine while your child inhales it.
How to help your child
Follow these steps for helping your child use a metered-dose inhaler with a spacer.
Shake the inhaler for 5 seconds. Remove the cap.
Hold the inhaler upright with the mouthpiece at the bottom. Then place the mouthpiece of the inhaler into the spacer.
Have your child stand or sit up straight. With the spacer a short distance from their mouth, they should breathe out slowly and completely.
Have your child place the spacer's mouthpiece in their mouth. They should close their lips tightly around the mouthpiece and keep their tongue away from the opening.
Have your child press down on the inhaler to spray 1 puff of medicine into the spacer. They should start breathing in slowly and deeply. Have them hold their breath for 5 to 10 seconds and then remove the spacer's mouthpiece from their mouth. Then they should breathe out slowly.
If your child needs another puff of medicine, wait 1 minute between puffs.
Remove the inhaler from the spacer, and replace their caps.
Have your child rinse their mouth with water if the inhaler has corticosteroids, such as fluticasone. (Controller inhalers usually have corticosteroids.) Do not let your child swallow the water.
Where can you learn more?
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