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Is Nebulization for Babies and Kids Really Safe?

By Sangeetha
Is Nebulization for Babies and Kids Really Safe?

Does the word 'nebulization for babies' scare you?

Are there any side effects of nebulization in infants?

Is nebulization for kids a safe practice?

The place where I stay, a sudden drop in temperature triggers illnesses. To add to that my little one has started play school. He has been trading germs, apart from the toys, with his friends.

At times I wish for some sort of miracle shield to protect my kid from these nasty micro monsters rather than battling each and every time.

He contracted the flu quite a few times and each time he had ended up with a bad nasal congestion which made it really difficult for him to breath at night.

Nebulization was what helped during such bad nights as it provides a temporary but great relief.

So through this article, I hope to debunk some common myths and misunderstandings about nebulization so that it can help you, if the need arises.

Also read:

15 FAQS about nebulization for babies you need to know:

Recently a dear friend of mine had concerns over nebulization for her daughter. The little girl had chest congestion for which the doctor had suggested nebulization. As any other mom, my friend was worried whether nebulization had any side effects.

I felt I could write about nebulizer, myths associated with nebulization and all the frequently asked questions about nebulizing a baby with answers.

#1. What is nebulization or nebulised therapy?

Nebulization is also termed as breathing treatment. It is a process of delivering a medicine or a combination of medicines using a nebulizer for immediate relief.

#2. What is a nebuliser or nebulizer?

A nebulizer is a machine which holds a small quantity of any specific medicated solution or normal saline. This solution is then converted into an aerosol, which is a mixture of gas and liquid particles.

This can be inhaled through one's nose/mouth with or without the help of face mask.

#3. How does a nebulizer work?

Nebulizers disperse the solutions into tiny cloud of airborne water droplets either by using oxygen, ultrasonic power or compressed air. This is then inhaled by the person providing them immediate relief.

#4. What are the types of medicines used for nebulization?

Nebulizers can be used in two ways

Non-medicated liquid is normal saline which is commonly used to help a dry nose by moistening the mucous membrane.

Medicated liquids are used for patients with respiratory diseases like allergic rhinitis, asthma, COPD and in few cystic fibrosis cases.

For asthma patients, bronchodilators, or combo of bronchodilators and corticosteroids are used.

#5. How can nebulization help my child suffering from blocked nose and bad cold?

Nebulization helps to moisten the dry mucous membrane.

Apart from that, it clears your little one's dry and stuffy nose by loosening the mucous trapped in the airways. This dilates their respiratory passage and makes it easier for them to breath.

#6. Heard that nebulization is only for adults and not for babies and children. Is it true?

It's a misconception. Nebulization is very effective and good for small children.

It is difficult for small children to spit out the sputum like older children or adults. So nebulization for babies is very effective in providing relief from breathing difficulty due to stuffy nose.

You can also refer to the home remedies for stuffy nose in babies and kids.

#7. Is nebulization to be done only by those suffering from asthma?

I have seen many of my friends who are scared of nebulization treatment for their kids thinking it is only for asthmatic patients. This is yet another misconception.

Nebulization is offered for many conditions like asthma, COPD, bronchiolitis, cystic fibrosis and for a few other respiratory diseases.

#8. Are nebulizer and inhaler the same thing?

No, both are different.

An asthma inhaler is used to breathe in the asthma medicine either in the form of mist or fine dry powder through mouth. It's a small device one can easily hold in hand and requires no electric supply to operate.

For kids who find it difficult to use an asthma inhaler, a nebulizer seems very effective to deliver asthma medications.

#9. Can we use nebulizers at home?

Yes, you can safely use a nebulizer at home. But, DO NOT use any medicated solutions other than normal saline in nebulizer without consulting your doctor.

Nebulizers for home come in table top and portable models. They require electric supply to operate.

The nebulizer price depends on the make and model.

Philips REF-1093268 Sami the Seal Nebulizer, Omron NE-C28 Compressor Nebulizer, Nulife Handyneb Pistontype Compressor Nebulizer, Omron NE-C803 Compressor Nebulizer and Omron HIGH VOLUME Nebulizer Compressor (NE-C25S) Nebulizer NEW VERSION C25 are the branded nebulizers available in the market.

#10. Can I use nebulizer at home for various respiratory illnesses other than nasal congestion?

A big no!!!

Consult your kid's doctor before using a nebulizer machine at home if you are using it for anything other than congestion related to normal cold. They will consider a number of factors before deciding whether or not to give you a nebulizer and will train you how to use the machine, how to look after it etc.

#11. Does my child need to take deep breaths during nebulization?

No, your child can breathe normally. Just make sure the mouth piece is pointed towards their nostrils.

#12. Is it true that nebuliser medicine uses high dosage of medicines?

The dosage of medicine used in nebulizers is very less as compared to medicines given orally. So that puts the worry to an end.

#13. Does nebulization cause any side effects to my child?

Side effects are far less or nil when compared to oral medicines such as syrups and tablets.

#14. Does nebulization cause addiction?

The difference between nebulization and other treatments is the mode of delivering medicines.

Addiction is not related to the mode of delivering medicines and hence there is a 100 % assurance that your kid won't be addicted to it.

Normally, we give medicines to kids orally. Does that make them addicted to those medicines? So there's your answer.

#15. How to choose a home nebulizer?

If you want to buy a nebulizer, here are the things to be taken into consideration.

  • Reasonably priced
  • Should be easy to operate and shouldn't be compact
  • Should deliver the medicated or non-medicated solutions in the form of aerosol through the mouth piece constantly.
  • The cleaning procedures of nebulizer accessories like nebulizer cups, mouthpieces etc after use should be simple
  • It shouldn't be too noisy. Kids mostly get scared of loud noise and will hesitate to undergo nebulization.
  • Do a thorough research before buying a good branded nebulizer and check with the vendor about the shelf life of nebulizer accessories without fail. There are reusable and disposable type accessories.
  • Get the complete information about the sterilisation, cleaning and storage process and strictly follow the manufacturer's instructions.

First of all, mommies don't panic when your kid's doctor suggests nebulization treatment to clear up your kid's stuffy nose next time.

Secondly, it is not at all compulsory to have a nebulizer at home.

Thirdly, if you own one, please follow the manufacturer's instructions properly.

Finally, don't use any medicated solutions other than normal saline in nebulizers without your doctor's prescription or consultation.

Hope this has cured you of your fear of nebulisers and nebulization for babies.

Have you done nebulization for your kid? Were you worried too about the side effects?

Does your kid gets cranky during the nebulization process or is he fine with it? Do share with me in comments.

Mommies, if you have any other questions, feel free to comment below.

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