Nebulizer Machine For Babies: Knowing The Side Effects And Risk

Being a genetic disease, asthma cannot have a permanent cure.

However, if proper medication, healthy food, and healthy lifestyle habits are followed, asthma symptoms can be significantly suppressed.

For most toddlers suffering from asthma or similar breathing conditions, the problem automatically goes away as they reach adolescence.

But specific and appropriate treatment is required for some children to get rid of the asthma problem permanently.

Nebulizer treatment for baby asthma, cough, cold, and congestion is therefore recommended by most pediatricians & doctors worldwide.

A nebulizer is a breathing device used for relieving lung conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, chronic bronchitis, etc. 

These can also be used to relieve allergic conditions like cold and congestion.

Given a doctor’s prescription, a pediatric nebulizer or a pediatric aerosol mask is designed for infants and small children so that the required medications can be administered to their lungs easily.

For safety and convenience, disposable nebulizers are now available in stores. These can be used for about 6 months and replaced with a new one.

These are most of the time portable in nature and are easy to use at home.

When To Use A Nebulizer Machine For Babies?

Nebulizer treatment is often recommended for babies who are suffering from respiratory issues like asthma.

However, as a concerned parent, you should know precisely about the signs that confirm the need for a nebulizer on a baby.

These symptoms usually start showing with a stuffy nose and watery eyes.

Especially when your child shows the below signs, it is high time to talk to your doctor about getting them a nebulizer treatment:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest pain

Remember that these signs may differ in children based on the respiratory condition they suffer from and their age.

It is therefore very important to follow the diagnosing tests and medications that are prescribed by the doctor before you use these nebulizer machines for your baby.

How Does It Work?

A pediatric nebulizer mask kit comprises an air compression system in the form of an electronically operated machine that effectively delivers the medicated liquid into a toddler’s lungs.

The liquid medication is processed in the nebulizer machine, which converts the liquid into a breathable fine mist or vapor, that can be inhaled easily by an infant.

Although all the modern nebulizer types are safe to use by kids, specially designed pediatric nebulizer masks are recommended for use, which can deliver the medication safely and conveniently without any risk.

How It Benefits?

The inhaled medication, through a pediatric nebulizer machine, acts on the airways and lungs, giving your infected child relief by widening the tracheal ducts for better respiration.

Besides providing all the medicinal benefits, a pediatric nebulizer is portable and can travel with you quickly in your kid’s diaper bag anywhere you go.

While these are electronic devices, some of these may not require an AC power supply as they can be operated through batteries.

Getting the nebulization in hospitals/clinics is preferred by most. However, having your home nebulizer is the best solution if you must give frequent rounds for a few days.

This not only makes the task easier for you but also you can rest ensure that you are nebulizing your child in a safe, known environment that is completely hygienic.

How To Use A Nebulizer Machine On A Child?

As such, there is no particular skill required when it comes to – how to nebulize a baby.

However, there are a few general steps that you need to follow while using a nebulizer for a baby with colds.

You should know about these to avoid any possible dangers while giving your child the prescribed medication at home. These are:

  • Let your child be seated comfortably on a high chair or on your lap
  • Place the nebulizer machine on a tabletop or any other flat, sturdy surface
  • Pour the medicated liquid (nebulizer medicine) into the nebulizer machine cup
  • Connect the cup to the nebulizer machine and fix the other parts correctly
  • Bring the mouthpiece or pediatric nebulizer mask over your child’s face, position and fix it correctly
  • Turn on the compressor of the machine and help your child to inhale the medicated mist slowly & deeply
  • Care for your child’s breath in a usual way until all the liquid medication is evaporated/finished

It roughly takes 10-15 minutes for the treatment to finish during the ongoing treatment care so that your child is not left alone or unaccompanied.

Note: Although the steps mentioned above can be followed while using most of the nebulizers, these may be slightly different for different nebulizer brands.

Do not forget to refer to the directions given in the instructions manual to avoid any risk. These manuals are usually provided by the manufacturer when you purchase them online.

Can I Feed My Infant After Nebulizer?

Feeding your baby just after nebulizer or just before you plan to nebulize your baby is not recommended by doctors.

You can instead breastfeed your kid (or give them baby formula) about half an hour before or after getting the nebulization.

It has been seen that the baby feels sleepy after eating and is complete. Giving the nebulizer treatment while they feel sleep may not be suitable for them.

Can I Nebulize My Baby While They Are Sleeping?

Although using a nebulizer for a baby while sleeping is not risky, to get the maximum benefits, you should help keep your baby sitting still while getting the inhaler.

Nebulizer treatment works best when your baby breathes deeply to let medicine reach their lungs.

Therefore you should try your best to make them sit on the chair or your lap for about 15-20 minutes.

If your baby feels squirmish sometimes, making it hard for you to nebulize, you can then nebulize them while they fall asleep.

How Often Should You Use A Nebulizer Treatment?

As such, there is no specific answer to the exact number of times your child needs to be nebulized.

Most of the time, this may depend on the type of problem they have and its severity.

While most doctors suggest giving nebulizer medications to your child 3-4 times a day, many times, giving just a single dose may suffice and help relieve the symptoms for tiny babies (1-2 months old).

Care that you get the saline or albuterol nebulizer treatment according to your doctor’s recommended number and doses so that the problem gets cured permanently.

As quick-relief medications like albuterol work fast and help relieve asthma symptoms suddenly, you need to wait for about 5-15 minutes between the subsequent nebulizer treatments.

This should be according to your doctor’s instructions.

Side Effects And Risk Associated with Nebulizer For Babies

Is Nebulizer Safe For Infants? 

Nebulizing an infant may sound scary to many of us, and we often have this question in mind. Well, As new parents, we all should be concerned, and there is no harm!

While nebulizers are pretty safe for most children, there can be instances when they can prove dangerous for your child’s health.

However, knowing how to use the pediatric nebulizer well can avoid all the dangers and associated risks.

First of all, you need to know that medicines used for pediatric nebulizer medications may vary according to the toddler’s age and the kind of illness your infant is suffering from.

Therefore, you must talk to your doctor before you use a nebulizer for the baby for the first time.

Next, you should keep the pediatric nebulizer clean, so it does not pose any hygiene issues.

Make sure not to forget to clean the nebulizer and filter mask after each use, even when you need to use it after a few hours again.

To get the facial mask and the container cleaned up, you can use warm water and dish soap for rinsing. Shake off any remained water and let it dry.

Once in 2-3 days, you can use a few drops of vinegar in water to clean and disinfect the nebulizer completely.

Put the nebulizer parts (not the filter mask) immersed in this water for about 60 minutes and then rinse it with clean water.

Let it dry completely to make it ready for subsequent usage or for storing.

Besides the above tips and possible risks, a few common side effects of using a nebulizer on children are:

  • Dry throat
  • Weird taste
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding nose
  • The feeling of nausea, stomach ache, or heartburn

Besides knowing all the above nebulizer side effects, you should also care that you give the nebulizer for baby congestion (cough with phlegm) according to their age and specific need.

Important Tips To Help Your Toddler Use A Nebulizer Machine Safely

Babies often seem to get frightful during the nebulization process.

However, providing them with the proper support and environment can help them get used to it, helping them get treated fast for all asthma, cough, and congestion.

Here are a few tips following which you can make the nebulizing process for your kids pleasing:

  • First of all, make a fixed routine/time to use a nebulizer on your kid so that they can get acquainted with it
  • Try to make the nebulizing machine look attractive to them by pasting a few stickers of their favorite cartoons
  • Make the complete process fun-filled for them by engaging them in some sort of game/toy or by reading them a storybook
  • Before using the nebulizer mask for the first time on your baby, try to teach them how to use it correctly and safely by putting it on your face. Help them by showing that breathing through it is entirely safe and easy.

At last, when they have completed the nebulizing process, give them a hug or a high-five.

Make them feel that they have won the match and defeated the enemy germs residing inside their body.