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Make it Easier for Young Children to Use Asthma Inhalers

Dr. Howard Bennett
Author Dr. Howard Bennett
Submitted 01-11-2007

When children with asthma get to be three or four, many doctors switch from
nebulizers to handheld devices called metered dose inhalers (MDIs). There are
two advantages to MDIs. First, they deliver inhaled medication much faster than
nebulizers. Second, the size of the particles coming out of MDIs is smaller than
nebulizers and therefore can go deeper into a child’s chest.


Despite these advantages, some children do not like the aftertaste of the
medication used in MDIs. A great way to cut down on this unpleasant taste is to
tell your child that you are going to give him two treats with his medicine. The
first treat consists of a couple of potato chips or tortilla chips that he can
eat before the treatment. The chips coat the mouth with a salty/oily flavor that
reduces the aftertaste. The second treat is small piece of candy that he can
have after he inhales his medicine. It is important to let the child choose
which treats he gets for cooperating with the treatment.

Howard J. Bennett,