Is nebulization a safe option for children with cough and cold
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Is Nebulization A Safe Option For Children With Cough And Cold?

A sneeze here, a cough there and your whole world turns upside down! As common as the common cold might be, it is never easy to watch your child suffer its consequences. Seeing their energetic selves restricted to their bedrooms can crease your forehead with worry.For most parents, administering medicines to their kids is a dreaded task. We feel you. Kids can be fussy. And you cannot blame them. After all, it truly is a bitter pill to swallow.

So what can you do? Well, you can always try a nebulizer machine.

Now before you raise that doubtful eyebrow, we know you have got questions. And it’s only natural. Your little one’s life is precious. And nothing should ever get in the way of preserving it. Never.So if you have questions about nebulizers for babies and kids, how they work and more, let us help you.

What is nebulisation?

Wondering what nebulisation is? Simply put, nebulisation is the method of administering medication in the form of a fine mist, which a child can breathe in to get immediate relief. Generally, liquid medication is used for this purpose. A mask or mouthpiece is used over the mouth and nose so the medicine can be inhaled easily.

Is nebulizer safe for babies and kids?

Now for the million-dollar question. A nebulizer machine is a safe and effective way to administer cold and cough medication to your child. It is a very commonly used method in hospitals and healthcare centres, particularly for infants as feeding them medicines can be no less than a challenge. So safety should not be an issue. That is as long as you use it properly and clean it regularly.

Can a nebuliser be used for cold?

The short answer is yes. Nebulizers for kids pretty much work the same way as oral medications do. What we mean to say is that pills made to manage the symptoms of cold and cough will be just as effective when administered as a fine mist via a nebuliser. They might provide quicker relief by easing congestion in the lungs since such medicines are inhaled. So there are benefits.

Are there any side effects of a nebuliser?

Though rare, there can be side effects of a nebuliser. These include:

  1. Irritation of the Throat or Mouth
  2. Some individuals may experience mild irritation in the throat or mouth after using a nebulizer. This can be due to the medication or the saline solution used in the nebulization process.

  3. Dry Mouth or Throat
  4. Nebulized medications may cause dryness in the mouth or throat. Staying well-hydrated can help alleviate this discomfort.

  5. Coughing or Wheezing
  6. Sometimes the inhalation of medication through a nebulizer may trigger coughing or wheezing. This could be due to the medication itself or sensitivity to the delivery method.

  7. Nausea or Upset Stomach
  8. Some individuals may experience mild nausea or stomach upset, particularly if the medication has a taste or odour that is not well-tolerated.

  9. Increased Heart Rate
  10. Certain bronchodilator medications, commonly administered through nebulizers, may lead to an increased heart rate as a side effect. This effect is usually temporary and subsides after the medication’s effects wear off.

  11. Tremors or Shaking
  12. Bronchodilators, which are often used in nebulizer treatments, can occasionally cause mild tremors or shaking in the hands. This side effect is usually temporary.

  13. Nervousness or Restlessness
  14. Some children may experience feelings of nervousness or restlessness, especially when using medications that have stimulant effects on the respiratory system.

  15. Allergic Reactions
  16. While rare, some may be allergic to specific medications used in nebulizers. Allergic reactions can manifest as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Immediate medical attention is necessary if an allergic reaction occurs.

    If you notice any of these side effects, or anything out of the ordinary for that matter when using a nebulizer for kids, immediately discontinue use and consult with your doctor.

How to use a nebulizer?

It may seem complicated at face value, but using a nebuliser for a baby’s cough and cold is rather simple. Here’s a brief guide:

  • Gather prescribed medicine and read the instructions carefully concerning its use. If you’re confused or have questions, call your doctor for help.
  • Fill the medicine cup with the prescribed amount of medication.
  • Attach one end of the tube given to the nebuliser and the other end to the medication cup.
  • Attach the mask or the mouthpiece given to the medication cup.
  • Place the mask or mouthpiece over your child’s face, ensuring their nose and mouth are covered.
  • Turn on the nebuliser and keep the mask on your child’s face till you see the formation of mist inside the mask.
  • Lift the mask when the mist inside it reduces to a bare minimum. That is a sign that the treatment is over. It can take up to roughly 25 minutes.
  • If your baby needs to interrupt, turn off the nebuliser so you do not waste any medication.
  • Once done, clean the nebuliser and the mask or mouthpiece. Use warm, soapy water to clean and store in a clean place once it is dry.
  • If you’re still confused about how to use a nebuliser, you can always consult with your paediatrician. Most of them recommend using it when your child is asleep so as not to upset them either because of the noise or the mask.

How to clean a nebuliser?

Cleaning the nebuliser is of utmost importance if you want it to do its job without any complications. You must never share a nebuliser between two kids either. Both irregular cleaning and sharing can lead to the build-up of germs within a nebuliser, which can be counterproductive to the treatment. After all, you want the nebulizer for a baby’s cough to cure symptoms, not to aggravate them.

The best way to clean a nebuliser is to soak it in a mix of mild soap and warm water for about 15 to 30 minutes. After the soak, you must rinse it thoroughly and let it air dry before you store it in a clean and dry place. As for the compressor and the tubing, you should wipe these two with a disinfecting wipe. Do not put these in water. Also, keep in mind to change the air filter of your nebuliser once every 6 months or as per the instructions on the pack.

We hope we can clear up some of the questions you had concerning a nebulizer machine. If you have more queries, your doctor might be able to help.

Though treatment of cough and cold is a necessary step to take, prevention of common ailments is just as important. For more useful and informational blogs, visit EuroKids.

What are the types of nebulizer medicine for coughing for children?

A nebuliser can be used to administer a wide range of medicines to kids, which they can inhale to relieve symptoms of what they are suffering from. Some of these medicines include:

  • Antibiotics help cure any type of bacterial infection your child may be suffering from.
  • Beta antagonists are used to open up your child’s airways so they can breathe easier. Examples of these medicines include levalbuterol or albuterol.
  • Corticosteroids, which are used to relieve asthma-induced inflammation.
  • Pulmozyme or Dornase alfa, which is used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. It works by loosening the congestion of thick mucus in your child’s airways.

Can a nebuliser help treat other conditions too?

When used effectively, a nebuliser can help treat a wide number of ailments your kids may be suffering from, such as:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe allergic reactions

Tips and precautions to keep in mind when using nebuliser for kids

When using nebulisers for kids, it is best to keep certain precautions and tips in mind so you face minimal trouble during administration.

  • Never share a nebuliser, or the medication administered via it, between two kids or any other family members. It is very unhygienic.
  • Never self-administer. Always consult a doctor before giving medicines and give them the prescribed amount only.
  • Mould can develop in nebulisers pretty quickly owing to the constant release of mist, so make sure you clean it after every use.
  • Establish a nebuliser routine for your baby to get them familiar and comfortable with the whole process.
  • Try to make the nebulising process fun for your child by singing songs, reading stories or using toys so they face minimal discomfort.
  • Try to find nebulisers with attractive kid-friendly patterns and designs such as animals and cartoons so babies do not feel intimidated by it.
  • Place your baby in a high chair for safe and effective administration of medicine via a nebuliser. If that is not an option, you can always nestle them in your lap during the process.

For informative and accurate articles on all things related to your new born-toddler’s development, growth, health and nutrition, follow EuroKids Blogs and do check out our nationally recognized preschools – EuroKids for the first step in your kid’s educational journey!

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