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any suggestions on how to get my 2 year old to take her breathing treatment?

seriously.. i know i should be stronger than her but the girl is dead set against not being hooked up to that thing. she needed it a lot back in november and december and got used to it, but she hasn't been sick til now and is coughing incessantly and wheezing a little. a nebulizer treatment is exactly what she needs, but i think i need a whole army to hold her down for me! ive tried giving her her lovies to hold, putting the cartoons on to distract her, everything. she wont even sit still long enough for me to get the mask on her. and then i spilled one of her vials all over the place trying to wrestle with her. ugh im just afraid if i cant start these treatments we will be in the ER tonight with retractions! :( any suggestions?? i have a feeling im going to have to lay her on the floor, hold her arms and legs down, force the mask over her face and keep her pinned down for 15 minutes while she breaths in the meds! but i'd hate to do that.. poor thing :(


Asked by tnm786 at 10:27 AM on Feb. 1, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • This is I know the nurses used to do at the hospital with the young ones. Get the treatment ready first. It won't fall out of the nebulizer after you fill the compartment. Put her on your lap and have her legs between yours. Cross your one leg over the other so that her legs are under your one legs but you are not squeezing her, but he will have difficulty getting them out. Put her one arm around your back. Put the mask on her and then hold her free arm with your arm. Hold your legs tight and keep your back straight and firm so she can not get her back arm free. You are not 'pinning' her down, but are holding her in a position that she can not take the mask off and you are still holding her which will hopefully offer her some comfort.

    Answer by layh41407 at 10:37 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • My son first had to start using a neb at 18 months. I used to sit indian style, with my legs wrapped around his body, and wrap both my arms around his upper body and head. Holding him tight, but not hurting him. I would cry right along with his screams. My mother told me, its ok, because the more he screams, the better the medicine gets into his lungs. I would hold him that way and put the tv on for a bit of a distraction, occasionally he would be distracted but most of the time he was not. Good luck

    Answer by parajumper3 at 11:22 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Sticker chart, she gets a sticker for every minute she leaves the mask on AND at the end of the 15 minutes have a new prize for her - a special dessert, a new book to read with mom, etc.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 10:29 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • My son has to use the nebulizer every now and then and for the first few mintues he freaks out. And hes also two. What i do is i turn it on and i put it uo to my mouth so he can see that it wont hurt him then i put it in front of his face and pull it back and do it again so he thinks im playing with him then he comes up to it and plays with the steam but the whole time im holding it close enough to his mouth and hes breathing it in. and it honestly works like a charm he usually doesnt get the whole treatment but what he does get helps out so much.

    Answer by Littleguysmommy at 10:36 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • layh41407 that is exactly what I was going to describe. I have worked pediatrics as well as urgent care pediatrics and this is the hold that we would have the parents use. I only hold it in front of my DD's face while she sits in my lap I don't have our method works well for us.

    Answer by coala at 11:02 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Sorry I didn't leave a complete thought--I don't' have a mask and holding it in front of my DD's face works very well.

    Answer by coala at 11:03 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • the only way I can hold my 2 year old still is to lay him on the floor and straddle his chest. I put my weight on my heels so I am not sitting on him, but it keeps his arms pinned and his legs from flayling around. the only thing he can do is move is head.

    sorry your baby is having a hard time and not feeling well. good luck

    Answer by melissa920 at 12:01 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Try it while she sleeps, if you can. If you haven't got an ultra-quiet nebulizer, try to get one. We have a cute one that looks like a penguin. Otherwise, maybe distract with a favorite show?

    Those steroids taste nasty:( maybe you can put a drop of something scented in the mask to take the edge off?

    I usually don't have a problem giving my son the Albuterol, I think he can tell it's helping.

    Good luck!

    Answer by JZ10FPM at 4:57 PM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • Have you tried giving her the treatments through an oxyphone? It's a relatively new nebulizer....I actually present it to ER's and doctor's offices and it saves a child from having to go through the torment of having a mask placed over her face when she's already having trouble breathing. It's a nebulizer that looks like a telephone.....a familiar object that the child holds to her ear to listen to music (there are two versions: battery and ipod capable). Plus, it's more effective than a mask because when she's calm, she's breathing in....when she's freaking out and crying, she's exhaling more medicine into the atmosphere. Crying is lots of exhaling with short intervals of inhaling to catch her breath. Your doctor can prescribe one; that way it will be covered by insurance. My email address is if you'd like to refer your pediatrician.

    Answer by aliw78 at 10:35 PM on Feb. 17, 2011