A practical guide to inhalers

3) Using an inhaler with a spacer

The most effective way to get inhaled medicine into a child’s lungs is to use a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) or “puffer” with a spacer. This gets about 80% of the inhaled medicine into the child’s lungs.

For very young children get them used to handling the inhaler and spacer.

Make sure the child is calm and comfortable on your knee or for babies lying down is best.

Try to make it a fun experience. Some parents sing nursery rhymes rather than counting slowly to ten. Practice on their favourite toy to get them used to the inhaler and spacer.

If the child is very distressed and crying they will not be able to breathe deeply to get the medicine in to the lungs. Stop and try again when they are calmer. If this keeps happening ask for help from your asthma nurse specialist or pharmacist.

Video from Itchy Sneezy Wheezy.