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Breathing Treatments and Baby

breathingtreatmentsbaby.jpgOur fifth child is now 11 months old. I’ve been doing this parent thing for over 14 years and I thought I’d seen/done/experienced it all. I was wrong.

I’ve been lucky I guess. I have never had a child with breathing problems. We’ve dealt with autism, blindness, brain damage, handicaps, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and a whole host of other things, but we haven’t dealt with breathing problems.

One of my daughters had RSV, but it was a pretty mild version and she was fine within a week or so. One child had bronchiolitis, and although I took her to the emergency room once with the virus, she didn’t need to stay.

My son is having a difficult time of all of this. I’ve been told it’s bronchiolitis by one doctor;the ER doctor told me he was developing asthma; the family doctor told me he had viral pneumonia which might indicate a weakness which could mean he would get asthma when he became older. Frankly, I’ve given up trying to identify what “it” is. “It” is making him have trouble breathing and when he wheezes in that certain way, I know he needs a treatment.

It’s not easy containing an 11 month old, even when he or she is sick. It’s certainly not easy to immobilize one on a regular basis to give him a nebulizer treatment. I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to outsmart my 11 month old and get him to endure these treatments. It appears he is smarter than me.

While I’m hoping that no one will actually ever have to use the following information, I’m going to pass it along just in case.

I’ve discovered that the following things help in distracting my son enough in order to be able to give him a breathing treatment:

  1. Schedule the treatment around nap-time, unless the medicine makes your child hyper. If treatments make your child hyper–try the other suggestions.
  2. Enlist the help of an older sibling to entertain the child while you concentrate on the treatment. My older children read, sing and dance for my son. This only works for a few minutes, but, you know a few minutes is a few minutes.
  3. Try using the mask or just holding the nebulizer in front of the child’s nose, depending upon your child’s mood.
  4. Try the “sneaky” method. Put your child down for a nap and while he is drowsy, hold the nebulizer in front of his nose. This was suggested to me by an older mother when I went to pick up the nebulizer. Her advice has helped in a pinch.
  5. Sing songs in a whisper voice in his ear. Sometimes, a child will quiet down to listen to what you are saying.
  6. Finger plays make great distractions! Then again, my son is fascinated with fingers. I’ve also used finger puppets to put on plays or I’ve had his older sisters put on the plays with the puppets.
  7. If your child is not allergic to animals, having a pet near him during the treatment can distract him and calm him down.
  8. If all else fails, you just might have to give your child a firm bear hug and have your spouse hold the mask in front of your child’s face.

The doctor tells me that most children who need to have regular treatments eventually learn to tolerate them. Eventually is a pretty vague term though. Until then, we’ll be using the above to get us through!


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  1. Babies Online Blog » Blog Archive » Air Pollution and Wheezing in Kids
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