What's Needed To Give Your Child Breathing Treatments At Home

Posted on: 14 December 2016

If your child has asthma and has been in the hospital for it, he or she probably received breathing treatments. These treatments deliver medication directly to the lungs. Because they are so effective at treating asthma, your doctor may recommend that your child continues to take the treatments at home. Here is what you need to get set up.

Nebulizer Machine

A nebulizer is a machine that works like an air compressor. It sends a stream of air through a tube that's connected to a cup with medication in it. When the air is forced through the liquid medication, it turns into a mist for your child to inhale. You need a prescription from your doctor to buy a nebulizer. There are a few different kinds you can buy. One is a table top model that plugs into electricity that you can use at home. Another one runs on batteries and you can carry it in your purse so your child never has to miss a treatment. There is also a nebulizer that works with the cigarette lighter in your car. This is handy to have as a backup in case your power goes out or you run out of batteries.

Disposable Equipment

In addition to the machine, you'll need disposable supplies. These are often available in a kit that includes everything you need. There is tubing that connects the nebulizer to the medication cup, the cup that holds the liquid medication, and a mouthpiece or mask that fits on the cup. The mouthpiece or mask directs the medication towards your child's mouth so it can be inhaled easily. Although the equipment is made of plastic and is disposable, you can reuse it several times. It is important to clean it occasionally to keep germs from growing in the medication cup and mouthpiece. A respiratory therapist will teach your child how to take the breathing treatments properly during a hospital stay. You can follow the same procedure at home. The therapist or a representative from the medical equipment company where you buy your supplies will teach you how to clean the disposable equipment so everything stays sanitary.

The Medication

There are various medications your child's doctor can prescribe for asthma. Some of them need to be taken on a regular schedule to prevent an asthma attack. Others are taken to reduce wheezing and shortness of breath when an attack is underway. It is important to follow the doctor's instructions on how often to take the medication because if you miss a dose, your child may start wheezing. Portable nebulizers make it easy to take the treatments on a strict schedule since your child can take them anywhere from the classroom to the soccer field.

When your doctor gives you a prescription for a nebulizer, you can pick it up at a medical supply store or have it delivered to your home along with the disposable supplies. Your insurance may cover the cost of a nebulizer and a limited amount of supplies. Home respiratory therapy treatments, such as from Corner Home Medical, are just one part of an effective asthma treatment plan. Your child may also need oral medication and an inhaler. The medications and treatment frequency may need to be adjusted regularly as your child grows and asthma symptoms change.