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How do I get my toddler to take his breathing treatment?

My 19 month-old son was recently diagnosed with asthma, GERD, and chronic sinusitis and has to take a long term antibiotic and nebulized albuterol sulfate. I can't get him to sit still long enough to finish one of his treatments a day. Does anyone have any tips on how to get him to take his meds 3 times a day?

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Asked by bramsmama at 11:17 AM on Sep. 23, 2009 in Health

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Answers (7)
  • I have almost the exact same issues with my grandson. The only way I got him to sit through it was to sit him on my lap and put on his favorite movie, cartton, TV show. His Neb Treatments usually take about 12 minutes (via mask, not pipe). About all you can do is hold and encourage him. Reassure it isn't going to hurt and that it will help his chest feel better. My GS is now 5 and he will come in from playing and tell me.. Gramma my chest is hurting..or "I'm whistling"..he means wheezing. We've been doing this 4 yrs now.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 11:24 AM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • My son had almost identical issues too. I would put him in his high chair with the tray on to restrict his movement a bit and give it to him that way. But I'd put the highchair in the living room so he could watch a video at the same time to distract him. There's a bit of training involved. He's going to need to get used to having something on his face but it DOES get easier. Lots of praise and hugs and kisses afterward helps too. I also offered him "special" stickers that he only got if he took a treatment. I know it can be hard and it sucks when they won't take the meds that will make them feel better. Just try and be patient. He'll get it. :)

    Answer by deadheadjen at 12:44 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Holding them in your lap is the best one I've found yet, If they have a special blanket or something let them hold that? And good idea with the show!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:15 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • I've tried holding him and he isn't a cuddly little boy. He doesn't like to be still or even be held at all. His treatments take about 15 minutes to do and I can't even get him to do 5 minutes. I thought about the highchair or his chair but I was afraid of him knocking them over in a tempertantrum. He knows that when certain shows are on that it's time for his treatment and hides the nebulizer or himself. I've tried changing shows and movies and even times of day but none of it seems to be helping. The only way he will sit for the whole thing is if his dad is there too and that's just not possible since daddy is at work for 2 of the 3 treatments. I really need help...

    Answer by bramsmama at 1:58 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Is it possible that maybe you can do a treatment before his dad goes to work?, and do one as soon as he comes home?. I know that's only 2 out of 3, but that would be a big help...or maybe even if his dad could talk to him on the phone during the treatment?

    Answer by TCamacho at 8:38 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Have you tried eliminating dairy?

    Take a cardboard tube from toilet paper and a stuffed animal and you can both give medicine to your babies.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:17 AM on Sep. 24, 2009

  • My kids take breathing treatments when they start to get bronchitis so it doesn't go into pneumonia. When they were young it was easy, but as they got older it became more complicated. I would turn on a movie or video, grab pillows and blankets and sit with them while they took their treatments. All was going well and then they started being scared and not liking the masks, so I ordered some masks online that were animals. I bought 3 of each, a rabbit, elephant and frog and told them the animals were taking the treatment with them. They like to hold their masks to their faces, I don't even dare try to put the strap on their head to hold the mask up.

    Answer by momtotrips at 12:19 PM on Sep. 25, 2009

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