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Nebulizer Use for Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is a nebulizer?

A nebulizer is a device that turns liquid medicine into a mist. The nebulizer is usually connected to a machine that pushes air through the nebulizer. The air helps turn the medicine into a mist. As your child breathes, the mist of medicine goes into his or her lungs. When a nebulizer is used, it is called a breathing treatment or nebulizer treatment.

Nebulizer (Child)

Why does my child need breathing treatments?

Breathing treatments are used to treat the swelling in your child's airway, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. These can be caused by any of the following:

How might my child receive a breathing treatment?

The way your child receives nebulized medicine depends on his or her age and coordination. A breathing treatment may be given in any of the following ways:

How do I prepare the nebulizer for my child's breathing treatment?

Read and follow the instructions that come with your child's nebulizer. The following is general information:

How should I give my child a breathing treatment?

How do I take care of my child's nebulizer?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.