Health and Wellness

8 things to know about nebulisation

Neetu Ralhan
1 to 3 years

Created by

8 things to know about nebulisation

Nebulisation can be a scary topic for many parents. Is using a nebuliser for babies and infants a safe practice? What are the side-effects of using a nebuliser for the baby? Should it be administered in young babies? So many questions! To ease things out for you, we have not only addressed common 8 questions that parents ask about nebulisers by an Expert, but have also come up with some interesting pointers that will make it easy for you to decide whether you want to use a nebuliser for your baby or not.

What Is A Nebuliser?

A nebuliser is an electronic or battery-operated device used for administering liquid medication directly to the lungs to provide relief from respiratory problems. A nebuliser converts liquid into fine mist which reaches the respiratory tract through inhalation. When babies have breathing or respiratory problems, there are good chances that the doctor prescribes a nebuliser. Since young babies and kids cannot use inhalers on their own, nebulisers seem to be a good choice in providing temporary relief. Some parents swear by nebulisation while others prefer oral medication or home remedies. For a young parent who is new to nebulisation, the mixed information can be daunting as several myths prevail around use of nebulisers.

How Does A Nebuliser Work?

A nebuliser essentially has 3 parts- the machine as it is, a nebuliser cup, and a face mask mask. The required medicine or a saline solution is put in the nebuliser cup, also known as the medical dispenser, and it is connected with the machine and the face mask through the tubes provided. The mask is then placed on the baby's face, fitting it and the machine is switched on. The medicine starts to convert into tiny airborne droplets, and the baby is made to breathe for 5-10 minutes. The inhalation ensures that the baby's lungs get the medicine and provides immediate relief. Nebulising is very much suitable for young children as the medicine can reach the lungs directly and easily, having maximum effect.

Can A Baby Use A Nebuliser?

Yes, it is safe to use a nebuliser for babies to help them deal with respiratory problems. Infants suffering from chronic diseases like asthma and cystic fibrosis, babies that are born premature aor babies born with ccute illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis etc. can particularly benefit from using a nebuliser. Because nebulisers come with a mask, and babies cannot hold a mouth piece in their mouths, they come as an effective way to deal with respiratory issues in babies.

How Often Can A Nebuliser Be Used For A Baby?

Nebulisers can be used as per your doctor's suggestion, which will vary according to the severity of the respiratory problem your baby has. It is typical of doctors to prescribe the use of nebulisers once before bedtime, for normal coughs and colds, to several times a day for acute respiratory issues. Ashtmatic babies may need to a nebulisers more often as they constantly suffer from colds, sneezes, and allergic problems. Once your child's immunity develops and his breathing becomes manageable, you can stop using nebulisers for him. But till then, nebulisation can be a very effective way to make medicines reach your baby's respiratory system.

Nebuliser For Baby Cold

When a baby develops cold, her airways ger blocked and she may have trouble breathing. Nasal congestion can be particularly difficult for babies and young children since they cannot blow their noses and cannot spit the phelgm. Apart from using home remedies for a baby's cold, you can also use a nebuliser to help clear your baby's nose. Nebulisation helps to moisten and loosen the mucus which can then be cleaned with a cloth. Nebulisation can thus help clean congestion in babies, helping them to breathe better.

Is It Necessary To Use Medicines In A Nebuliser?

Nebulisers can be used with or without medication. Essentially, a nebuliser is just a way to line the lungs with medicine. For simple cough and cold, you can use a saline water solution to loosen mucus trapped in the airways and provide relief to dry respiratory passage. Using a nebulizer for cough with phlegm helps the little ones breathe better. For patients with respiratory diseases like allergic rhinitis, or asthma, corticosteroids, bronchodilators and other conditions, non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications etc. are used in the nebuliser. Depending on the child's medical condition, your doctor may prescribe -

  • Saline solutions of different concentrations for routine and smaller problems
  • Severe cases may be dealt with non-steroid medications
  • Steroid based medications maybe prescribed for SOS cases

side-effects-of-nebuliser

What Are The Side-Effects Of Using Nebulisers For Babies?

Though the conception is that using a nebuliser can have side effects on a baby, this is far from truth. Doctors generally prescribe saline solutions for normal problems, and only in cases of respiratory issues medicines are provided. Nebuliser is safe to be used on babies and children, and potential side effects when inhalable steroids are used, though rare, can be summed up as under -

  1. The child could feel his throat is dry or irritated
  2. He might complain of nausea or an unplesant taste in the mouth
  3. Sometimes, children may complain of heartburn
  4. Improper mixing of medicines can cause bleeding nose or stomach pain
  5. Using unclean nebuliser cup can cause stomach pain and other serious issues

8 Common Questions On Nebuliser And Expert Answers

Listed below is a compilation of common questions and misconceptions around Nebulisation, with responses from renowned Gurgaon based Paediatrician, and parentune expert, Dr. Vaneet Parmar.

  1. Q. Nebulisation results in over dosage of medicines.

    A. When you give a child oral medicine, it is in milligram (mg). In a nebuliser, medicine is administered in micrograms (mcg). One mcg equals only 0.001 mg. Therefore, the notion that by nebulizing the child we are giving her more medicine than required is a myth

  2. Q. Nebulisation has more side effects compared to oral medicines.

    A. On the other hand, the side effects, if any, are much lower as the quantity of administered medicine is much lower compared to an oral dose. Nebulized medicine acts faster since it is deposited straight into the lungs, unlike oral medication which is first absorbed into the stomach before it acts on the ailment

  3. Q. Nebulisation is only for severe asthmatic patients.

    A. Nebulising is done in many respiratory conditions including severe cold and cough, bronchitis, asthma, COPD and Emphysema. Your doctor would advise nebulisation only if it is needed

  4. Q. Babies are too young for nebulisation.

    A. Nebulising helps in expelling phlegm which babies cannot do on their own. It can be done at any age but the dosage would differ depending on the patient’s age and condition

  5. Q. Nebulisation is expensive.

    A. Nebulisation vials cost much less compared to other forms of medicines

  6. Q. Nebulisation cannot be done properly at home.

    A. Many people think it is a complex process, but it is quite simple and can be done at home. You can consult your doctor and if frequent nebulisation is needed for a family member, you can purchase a nebulizer. These days there are many portable, compact nebulisers which can be easily used at home or carried along while travelling. In a nutshell, it is okay to nebulize at home. Do it properly but don't overdo it. Proper cleaning and maintenance of the device is also very important

  7. Q. Nebulisation is addictive.

    A. I would like to correct that. It is often the parents and not the child who become over dependant on even for mild cold and cough, some parents tend to nebulize the child hoping for instant relief. The common mind set is that the doctor will give the same treatment, so we can do it at home. Also, nebulisation is only a mode of delivering medication. It is the medicine, and not the mode of delivery which can be addictive, if taken repeatedly

  8. Q. All respiratory problems can be treated at home if you have a nebuliser.

    A. For mild cold or cough, there is no need to nebulize. In fact, we see many casualty or ICU admissions of asthma gone bad or respiratory failure because the patient was nebulised excessively at home when they should have been brought to the hospital. If a condition persists or worsens, it is best to see your doctor at the earliest

Nebuliser For Babies- Good Or Bad?

For babies with severe breathing difficulty due to cold or cough, nebulisation is a good option. However, you should not use a nebuliser for babies for just about everything! And never use any medicated solution unless your doctor has advised for it. Always use saline water for minor ailments like cough, cold, season change etc. Nebulisation is very effective when babies and smal children cannot take medicine as it delivers the medicines to the lungs and provides immediate relief.

We hope to have answered your most pertinent doubts around nebulisation. If you still have a query that remains unanswered, please feel free to leave your question in comments. We will be glad to have it resolved by consulting our experts on panel.

Should I Buy A Nebuliser For My Baby? How Much Does A Nebuliser Cost?

Some parents prefer that the child be nebulised in expert care in the hospitals. While some others wish to deal with common respiratory issues at home. Though it is obvious to feel safe when experts take care of the process, if your child needs to be nebulised often it makes sense to buy a nebuliser and use it from the comfort of your home. Moreover, children associate hospitals with vaccinations and pains and may be cranky. Using a nebuliser at home may make them comfortable and they may be less cranky and more cooperative. Various brands like Phillips, Dr.Morepen, Rossmax, Omron and Equinox offer different models in different pricing range. Choose the one that is more child-friendly and suits your needs. A good nebuliser may cost you anything from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3000.

How Can I Make My Baby Comfortable To Use A Nebuliser?

To derive maximum benefits from using a nebuliser, it is imperative that your child feels comfortable using it. Here are some pointers that may help your child being cooperative to using nebulisers-

  1. Address the fear of masks: If your child has a fear of masks, it is important that the fear is rightly addressed. try making it a fun game by trying various superhero facemasks and making him comfortable. You could also wear a mask when he takes the treatment
  2. Let him decorate: Giving your child the opportunity to decorate the mask with stickers lending it a personal appeal can work in making him comfortable with the nebuliser
  3. Make it fun: The biggest challenge may be in making your child sit through the process. In this respect, you need to make the process fun and engaging - sing songs, read to him or play his rhymes or anything that makes him sit in one place. Avoid painting or watching TV that may make him take his eyes off the nebuliser
  4. Priortise comfort: Make sure your child is sitting comfortably. Some kids prefer to sit up in a high chair while some still prefer to nestle in the mother's lap. Figure what works best for your child
  5. Be positive and appreciate your child: Positive reinforcement goes a long, long way. Make sure you do not discuss your concerns regarding nebulisation and always appreciate your child after the process is completed

To read Parent Talks and Parenting Blogs on Nebulisation, please click here: http://www.parentune.com/search

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rakhimandal

| Nov 19, 2017

thanks for the useful information

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Mahalakshmi Saravanakumar S

| Nov 17, 2017

Thanks, very informative

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Shilpi D Tripathi

| Nov 17, 2017

thanks you ,very useful post .Infact i have been advised by the doc to nebulise my child for severe coughing

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Aditi Awati

| Nov 17, 2017

ip

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asma nasir

| Oct 11, 2017

Nasi . ?lol h gughonhv

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Bhagya Antony Raj

| Oct 09, 2017

thanks mam

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puloma pandey

| Oct 05, 2017

Thanks for the blog . There were lots of confusion regarding nebulization but now its all clear. As the winter is almost there we need these kind of information so the blog is great help.

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Aditi Mohta

| Oct 03, 2017

Thanks for sharing. Really useful

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Shikha Batra

| Sep 15, 2017

thanks for sharing this useful blog . since winters are in the offing, cold and cough episodes would increase drastically . the misconceptions regarding nebulization can now be put to rest and I am sure it will be prove to be a useful blog for parents .

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Shilpa Agarwal

| Sep 01, 2017

thank u for sharing such useful information

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Bhagyalakshmi Nair

| Sep 01, 2017

that was quiet useful information. thanks

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meghanalagali

| Oct 06, 2015

Thanks... it is very useful info

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Shrutika Upare

| Oct 06, 2015

Thanks, It's very useful and cleared doubts about nebulizer..

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Jhuma Sarkar

| Oct 05, 2015

This is really a very good write up. My 11 yrs old son was mild asthmatic and usually went for nebulization in every month upto 6 yrs whenever he had chest congestion. We bought d machine. It is simple process but requires more time n patience also. When my son was 6, we went to another doctor n he suggested to use inhaler. After using it for three months he would be feel better. He didn't need any medicine to continue. Since then he plays 1 hour in d evening n we make sure one thing that he must not be over stressed. Thank god here's doing well now. My 4 yrs old daughter also used to nebulization. She is quite prone to cold n cough. Now she is under homeopathic treatment n feeling better. Being a mother of two, I just want to say that nebulization is safe process by which anybody can get rid of chest congestion quickly but it's better to grow immune power of our children. Once or twice in a year nibulize is OK but if it is used for every month like my son then it is frustrating. So pls go for balanced diet, proper physical activities your child becomes more healthy n active. It's my experience which I have shared with you.

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Ashwwini Mute

| Oct 05, 2015

Very very useful information.. Thank you

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Apeksha Tiwari

| Aug 23, 2015

Very useful information..

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Sheena

| Aug 06, 2015

Nice and informative article

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juturikrishnachaitanya

| Jul 22, 2015

Good amt of info. Thank you very much

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Yashpal Soni

| Jul 02, 2015

Very useful and informative article thanx

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Preeti Joshi

| Jul 02, 2015

Then my sons doctor told me nebulizer is used for different respiratory problems and is more effective too than oral doses

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Preeti Joshi

| Jul 02, 2015

Very true i had to use nebulizer for my son when he was 1. 5 years old. I was confused if he had asthama. Earlier i had never heard about nebulizer being used for any other problems.

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Ani Denny Mandy

| Jun 11, 2015

Is it ok to give normal saline nebulization for infants incase of cough and cold?

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Mahesh Kale

| Mar 19, 2015

Thanks Neetu for sharing this valuable piece of information.

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Arpita Agarwal

| Mar 15, 2015

Thanks for sharing this info.. i was concerned about my 3-month-old getting nebulized.. i am relieved and well-informed now..

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Smitha

| Mar 15, 2015

Thanks for this info... it really cleared most of my concerns and doubts...

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Hari

| Mar 13, 2015

Very detailed article... cleared most of my myths on Nebulizing my Kid.... Thanks :)

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jiya durgiya

| Mar 04, 2015

Excellent info..... much awaited....

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Prerna Mahajan

| Mar 04, 2015

Much needed info.... cleared quite a few myths.. thanks much

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Dimpy

| Mar 04, 2015

very informative... thanks

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GargiAnant karve

| Mar 02, 2015

Very nice article !!! Much needed ...thanks for sharing :)

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sumita jaiswal

| Mar 01, 2015

Thank for sharing .

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vandana

| Mar 01, 2015

very relevant info!! thanks for sharing..

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Shikha Batra

| Feb 28, 2015

Many Thanks Neetu for this helpful write up. The misconceptions as well as doubts regarding nebulization have been answered quite well. keep it up!

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re y

| Feb 28, 2015

Thanks for the article. Could you please also tell about home remedies for respiratory problems

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