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How to choose a nebulizer for kids

If your child is diagnosed with asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis or other respiratory ailments, chances are your healthcare provider will prescribe a nebulizer. While it serves the same purpose as an inhaler, a this device is more child-friendly.

With a device like this, your child only has to breathe through the mask, whereas an inhaler requires some coordination. For a kid, this can be a bit tricky to master.

There is a wide choice of nebulizers out there, which can be confusing. However, there are useful reviews that can help you compare different popular models. A selection of the leading nebulizers available today you can check out here.

In this article, we will briefly explain the different types of the device and how to choose one that’s right for your kid.

Types of Nebulizers

Jet (Compressor)

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Compressor nebulizers use compressed air that turns liquid into fine mist. The good thing about these devices is that there are no medication restrictions – you can use any. Also, they offer a range of particle sizes and are less expensive. However, they are heavy and bit loud hence, ideal for stationary use.

Ultrasonic

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These devices use high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations to turn medication into fine mist. The aerosol particles are relatively smaller and consistent in size. These models tend to operate silently but cannot be used with all drugs.

Mesh

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Often confused for an ultrasonic nebulizer, mesh is a new technology for aerosol delivery. It generates an inhalable mist by using an ultrasonic horn which pushes medication through mesh. Unlike ultrasonic nebulizers, mesh can effectively deliver suspension formulations like budesonide. These devices are very compact, lightweight and extremely quiet. However, they are a bit expensive.

Things to Look Out For

Noise

Noise level is very important if you’re planning to use it on your kid at night. Loud nebulizers can not only be uncomfortable but might even terrify the young ones. Of the three types, compressors are the loudest. If noise is your primary concern, opt for either mesh or ultrasonic.

Design

The mask design can be scary for little kids, which can negatively impact treatment delivery. So finding something with a fun design and vibrant colors feels less intimidating and enticing to the little ones. Some manufacturers offer dragon masks while others come with fanciful fish, train designs.

Keep in mind this trick might not work on kids above 3 years. So you must invent other convincing strategies. For one, you can make the inhalation process something like a game. Kids love games, and playing can help keep other thoughts away like wearing masks and tubes. You can as well buy masks for the whole family to wear so that they don’t feel out of place.

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Or, get them a handheld mouthpiece model.

Portability

If you’re always on the go or your child is very active, portability is another angle you need to look at. While portable/handheld nebulizers are easy to carry, they are a bit expensive than tabletop systems. Also, you have to think about accessories like batteries.

Portable ones are also ideal if your kid only needs to be treated occasionally. But if they need treatment several times a day, a stationary option with a heavy-duty compressor seems like a better option as they deliver medication a bit quicker.

Depending on your needs, both options would be a great choice. But for convenience, you can opt to purchase both.

Summary

All nebulizers work in about the same way; they just have different features. So, choosing a nebulizer for your kid is a matter of needs, priorities, preference and your doctor’s recommendations.

This placement allows for a smooth transition from discussing nebulizers to introducing the concept of intranasal drug delivery systems as an alternative respiratory health solution for children.