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Little Kids

Get your preschooler to use an asthma inhaler

Help your child understand the importance of their asthma treatment

By Diane Sacks, paediatrician

Get your preschooler to use an asthma inhaler

Q: My three-year-old was recently diagnosed with asthma and is now on an inhaler. She  hates using it and cries when I insist. Do you have any tips for making this easier?

A:
You’ve found out early that sometimes doing what’s best for your child’s health isn’t easy — or fun. We know that poorly-treated asthma can have long-lasting effects on the lungs. Make sure that you make the treatment regime relaxed and consistent. Seat your daughter in a comfortable chair, perhaps on your lap after a short song or book. You don’t have to press the mask too firmly to her face.

Start with asking her for just two breaths and reward that, maybe with some stickers or an activity that she enjoys. Then gradually go up to the six to eight breaths needed for a full treatment. As with all things children do but might not like, it may help to praise her and brag about it within earshot. Also remind her the medicine will let her play and run as fast and long as the other kids.

This article was originally published on Jan 25, 2012

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