If your child has asthma and a need for asthma medication, he or she may use a nebulizer routinely. This is a device designed to deliver medication directly into the airways. While standard nebulizers are great for in-home use, some are compact and portable and may be used in various locations throughout the home, or even during travel. The following list may help you decide when purchasing your child's first nebulizer:

1. Consider Portability and Ease of Use

The standard respiratory equipment many use at home is often a tabletop model that is intended to be stationary. This may be a bit bulky for handling or for moving about the house. To make things easier, purchase a lightweight or hand-held nebulizer that may be easily manipulated for small hands or carried around as needed.

Some lightweight or portable nebulizers are cordless and will be battery-operated. Some are also tubeless. For convenience, look for a unit that runs on rechargeable batteries or keep a spare set of batteries on hand.

Alternatively, you might want to choose a nebulizer that operates on household current and comes complete with an AC adapter, to save on battery usage. This may be used indoors on electrical current or run on batteries for use outside the home (such as in the yard or on the patio).

2. Choose Equipment With Quiet Operation

Some nebulizers tend to create some noise while in operation. While this may be fine for an adult who lives alone, noisy operation may frighten young children. A silent unit won't disturb others in the home and may make a young child feel more at ease while using it.

3. Consider One With Vibrating Mesh Technology

Another feature to look for in your child's nebulizer is vibrating mesh technology. This feature delivers the medication in a fine mist through the unit's mesh metal alloy, in a shorter period of time than most standard sized nebulizers. There is also less waste with this type of technology due to the vibrating mesh that aerosolizes all the medication. The vibrating mesh cap may need periodic replacement, so buy from a manufacturer that offers replacement parts.

4. Be Certain the Device is Compatible With Your Child's Prescribed Drugs

Did you know that some prescribed asthma medications require specific types of nebulizers? For this reason, it is imperative to ask your child's pediatrician if the prescribed medication can be administered with the nebulizer you have in mind.

5. Consider the Necessary Accessories You May Need

  • A Nebulizer Mask: Your child's nebulizer may or may not come with the necessary mask. A nebulizer mask is needed to deliver the drug into your child's airways, but not all masks are alike. You'll want to provide a pediatric mask intended for your child's age and size.

  • A Nebulizer Filter: This accessory may be disposable or reused. Many nebulizers come complete with the necessary filter. In any case, it will need to be cleaned and disinfected after use. When buying a replacement filter, be sure it is compatible with the nebulizer model.

  • Nebulizer Cup: This is a reservoir for holding your child's liquid medication inside the nebulizer. While most machines include the measuring dose cup, choose a manufacturer that offers replacement cups in case it becomes damaged or lost.

6. Choose a Child-Friendly Design

Finally, although it may be overlooked or seem insignificant when choosing your child's nebulizer, a colorful design may put your child at ease and make him or her more inclined to use it. For this reason, choose a nebulizer with a playful theme (such as playful fish and bubbles) intended for pediatric use, so your child will not be intimidated in its presence.

For more information, check out a company like Corner Home Medical.