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Using a Metered-Dose Inhaler With a Spacer (Child)


Shake the inhaler and attach the spacer: Step 1

A child putting the inhaler mouthpiece into the spacer

Shake the inhaler and remove the inhaler cap. Check the inhaler instructions to see if you need to prime your inhaler before you use it. If it needs priming, follow the instructions on how to prime your inhaler. Then place the mouthpiece of the inhaler into the spacer.

Remove the spacer cap: Step 2

A child removing the cap from the spacer

Remove the cap from the spacer.

Hold the inhaler upright: Step 3

A child holding the inhaler upright

Hold the inhaler upright with the mouthpiece at the bottom.

Breathe out slowly and completely: Step 4

A child breathing out completely

Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out slowly and completely.

Place the spacer's mouthpiece: Step 5

A child placing the spacer mouthpiece in her mouth

Place the spacer's mouthpiece in your mouth.

Press down on the inhaler and breathe in: Step 6

A child pressing down on the inhaler and breathing in

Press down on the inhaler to spray one puff of medicine into the spacer and then start breathing in slowly (press first, then breathe in). Then hold your breath for 10 seconds, to give the medicine time to settle in your lungs.

If you need to take a second dose, wait 30 to 60 seconds to allow the inhaler valve to refill.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerLora J. Stewart, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last RevisedMarch 14, 2013

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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