26 answers

Need Advice on Giving Breathing Treatments

My son was diagnosed with bronchitis this week and the doctor wants me to give him breathing treatments. He is 14 months and wants NO part of the breathing machine. We have tried giving them with and without the mask. We have tried making a game of it, letting him check it all out before hand. I have tried giving them to him while he slept, but he just woke up crying and pushing it away. I mentioned this to the doctor. I told him this morning that the only way I can give them is to swaddle him, and he's a big baby, in a blanket and hold the mask on him. He cries, fights me, and makes me feel horrible. I know he has to take the treatment. He acts terrified of the machine and screams hysterical, but I want him to get better and not be hospitalized, so we just give them anyways.
My big kids want to "rescue" him from the treatments, but I told them if he doesn't get them he will only get worse and then he could be put in the hospital, and they will administer them regardless of his protest.
I was wondering if anyone else had this much trouble with administering the treatments it just makes us all feel so bad for him. Any ideas or suggestions would be helpful.
We all, my husband, son, daughter and I, all feel for him and feel bad for him.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I know that the breating tratments are difficult. Both my kids had to have them regularly and we found that the pipe worked so much better than the mask. We would hold them and read or play or just let them watch something on TV while they were taking their treatment. Let them hold it, chew on it (this worked great), anything to get them through it. Hang in there, it will get easier and he will get use to it.

1 mom found this helpful

We've had to give my son breathing treatments since he was 5 months old, so I know how hard it can be. He is now almost 3yrs. We tried different things for awhile we had to just hold him while he fought us and then we were able to sing to him which worked. But we found that if we put on his favorite show that worked best. They all worked for awhile try reading him a book. Once he gets use to it it won't be so bad.

1 mom found this helpful

we gave my 15 month old his breathing treatment while he ate. I just held the nozzle close to his face so he could breathe it in. That was the only time my son would sit still enough for it.

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More Answers

I'm sure you have already gotten great advice, but we had the same problem with our daughter when she was around that age. We would hold the mask a little bit away from her face, as long as the medicine (fumes) were going in her mouth and nose. The doctor said that was fine. We would also play one of her favorite DVD's on TV while doing it. I think I can remember singing Elmo songs or something like that also. Believe me, I've been where you are, many times. It made me so sad to have to do that to a crying, screaming child. It does get better over time. When she was about 3, we were still occasionally giving them to her when she would get bronchitis or croupe, and by then, she would just hold it on her mouth herself...what a difference! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Good morning. I have three children ages 6, 4, and 2. They have had bronchitis in the past, slight asthma etc. I was never given a mask and always wanted one because I thought that it would get more medicine in the children; however, they freak out when we have to get a treatment at the doctors office and they have to wear the mask! They act like someone is torturing them. We have the 2 ended mouthpiece and they actually enjoy sticking the mouthpiece in their mouth and breathing the medicine in--it's like they can tell that it's helping, they get to hold it and are in some sort of control of the machine. Mine used it from about 6 mths on up (they rarely need it now) They sell the mouthpieces at any pharmacy--maybe it's worth a try?

1 mom found this helpful

Hey S.,

My son was diagnosed with bronchitis at 7 months. We had to give him breathing treatments as well and still do at times and he's ten now! I know to start treatments when he gets that crupy cough. He did not like them either, but he didn't give me that much trouble, thank goodness. He would NOT wear the mask so I had to just hold it in front of him. He didn't like the misty smoke so I put sunglasses on him and it helped. He also didn't like the taste of it so we let him chew gum. Yours might be too young so maybe some candy or something might help. His sister, who is two years older acted jealous of him getting "smoked". I think that made it a little more special for him. I would put the smoke in her face for a second and she acted like that was cool. I'd put it up to my face also to let him know that it doesn't hurt and that it was pretty neat. That all seemed to help me. Maybe it will help you too. Good Luck! T.

1 mom found this helpful

we gave my 15 month old his breathing treatment while he ate. I just held the nozzle close to his face so he could breathe it in. That was the only time my son would sit still enough for it.

1 mom found this helpful

my kids had to do this they have asthma and when they were little I didnt put the mask on I just held it as close to the mouth as possible they will breathe it in. Keep him occupied with books blocks something hell forget itsthere. Good luck K.

1 mom found this helpful

maybe start using it yourself, and giving it to your older kids, to use it, too, and all pretend to act happy and calm while it's on?

Can you forego doing it for a day or so, so he can get over the fear a little bit while you do this?

Maybe administer little treats to everyone who uses it? (of course, since your 14-month old is sick, he shouldn't have anything sugary, so give him a healthy snack for a treat)

Maybe when you use it on him while he's sleeping you can just hold it over him and not let it touch him (I'm assuming it looks like an oxygen mask), and just very, very gradually put it on his face. Or maybe it will work well just hovering over his face. Better than nothing, I suppose.

Is the noise scary? At night you could mask it with soem white noise, that you turn up very gradually,, like a fan from lower to higher settings.

Good luck. I know you must feel bad but you're doing the very best you can. Just give that little boy lots and lots of cuddles and see what works best.

1 mom found this helpful

S.,
I wish I had some great words of wisdom to help you with this, but I don't.My son was born with a heart defect and had open heart surgery when he was 8 days old. He was on a ventilator for a couple of weeks, so he gets some resp infections and has to take breathing treatments. When he was younger (he is 6 now) it was just like with your son. He was scared and nothing we tried worked. I would just hold him and keep his arms out of the way. He would fight me, but give up after a while and fall asleep. Like you, I felt horrible and hated having to do it. Just remember, it is what is best for him, so he doesn't end up in the hospital. Hang in there and just do the best you can. Hopefully he will be less terrified with each treatment.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! My son has been using a nebulizer since he was 6 months old. I know the struggles you are facing!!! We use a Dino mask now, although I don't think that it will help at your son's age. He probably isn't going to like anything he can't control! I would just use the mouthpiece and let it blow in his face. Is your nebulizer a fun shaped one? Ours is a cow. We let our son sit in the floor and play with the machine, unplugged at first, so he could get used to it. Then we would sit with him and let him turn it on and off until he got used to the sound and knew it wasn't going to hurt him. We also let him hold his mouthpiece as long as he held it close to his face. Sometimes we sit in the floor with him in our lap and read him a Dr. Seuss book. It always seems like by the time you are done with One Fish, Two Fish or Green Eggs and Ham that the treatment is done! I hope some of this helps. Good luck, God Bless, and I hope your little man gets better!

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