Can a 6 Year Old Use a Rescue Inhaler?

Updated on December 21, 2012
M.W. asks from Billings, MT
15 answers

I took my 8 year old to the doctor for flu symptoms and mainly a cough that was out of control. They prescribed an inhaler (albuteral type) for him and it reallly helped. My 6 year old has the same symtoms now and I know the inhaler would help him. Do other 6 year olds use inhalers? Does anyone kknow if the dosage is the same for an 8 and 6 year old?? It seems silly to take him to the doctor when they have the exact same syptoms. Thoughts?

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So What Happened?

ok, question answered. I'll take him in tomorrow. Thanks

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answers from Washington DC on

It is NOT silly to take him to the doctor. He is a different PERSON, you can't just assume he needs the same treatment! His symptoms seem the same to you, but you aren't trained to listen to his lungs etc.

Aside from it being totally illegal to give a prescription drug to a person for whom it's not prescribed (come on, it's not like you're talking about Tylenol here... Albuterol is a real drug). Dosing isn't like cough syrup... there isn't a set does for a certain age. There are a number of factors that DOCTORS take into consideration when establishing dosage.

Call the doctor, make an appointment, get a treatment plan for HIM.

If the Rx ends up exactly the same, you can decide whether to fill it or not (although sharing an inhaler seems like a great way to keep everyone having the same symptoms all the time kwim?)


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answers from Chicago on

My son who is four gets inhalers because of season bronchitis... In September he had it and when he got over it about a month later and didnt need the inhaler any longer my 9 year old nephew ended up getting it early November. My sister took my sons inhaler without my knowledge and used it twice a day (like it was prescribed for my son) and on the fourth day her son, my nephew, ended up very ill and hospitalized. He ended up being very allergic to something inside there, a part of a steroid thats typically found in that inhaler. I wouldn't chance it if I was you. My nephew still to this day has slight problems being "winded" and a child who was then very active is now afraid to do anything because he gets winded and hurts his lungs.

Take you 6 year old to the dr PLEASE!

Have a great Christmas!

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answers from Honolulu on


I have Asthma. I have inhalers. My daughter when she was younger, was sick like yours... I did NOT give her my inhaler.
I took her to the Doctor.
HER Doctor, prescribed one for her.
Her own.
I don't use her's and she doesn't use mine.

Take your 6 year old to the Pediatrician.
Never, just give a child something that is a prescription, for something that the Doctor has not diagnosed.

AND THE DOSAGE... is not something you should find online or do as others told you or guess at it. ONLY go by the Pediatrician.

KNOW that, people can over-dose... on inhalers. Too.
In my State, a High School girl, who was a Tourist here... DIED.
Because, she was taking TOO MUCH of her inhaler and was not... using it properly....
and she died.

DO NOT guess at this.
It is a prescription.

A bad cough or uncontrolled cough... can be MANY things. Even Pertussis or Croup or Bronchitis or Pneumonia. And you cannot, just assume that your 8 year old and the 6 year old, has the SAME virus strain or illness.

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answers from Chicago on

This is really a question only your doctor can answer for you.

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answers from Los Angeles on

My 5.5 year old uses a rescue inhaler with the chamber to help him inhale it better. It's definitely recommended to use the chamber with little kids. He didn't get the inhaler until he turned five; before that, we had to use a nebulizer.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You need to see your doctor - there are many causes of cough. However my son used an inhaler with a spacer (plastic chamber) starting when he was maybe 4-1/2 or so. Way easier, faster and quieter than a nebulizer.

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answers from Appleton on

Take him to a doctor. Plain and simple. Albuteral used correctly is great but can be dangerous if used improperly.

Besides the amount you have now is for your 8 yr old and probably needs to be used up on him, if you split the dosage between the two kids you are not helping either of them.

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answers from San Francisco on

I agree, you should ask your doctor. You could start by calling, but I wouldn't be surprised if the doctor wants to see the 6 year old first. Especially, if the 6 year old has never been prescribed the medicine before.

I have given a rescue inhaler to my child when he was 3, but he has asthma and has been prescribed it by the doctor. He has a twin and if his twin started coughing I would not give him the rescue inhaler (or other asthma medication) without first consulting the doctor.

When one of my kids gets a bad cold and the doctor discovers he has an ear infection needing antibiotics, it doesn't mean the other one has an ear infection just because he starts showing the same symptoms.

The only time my doctor has prescribed a "just in case" prescription was when one of my twins got pink eye. We never used it because the other one never got it.

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answers from Dallas on

Wouldn't it be awful if your 6 yr old didn't have the same thing that the 8 yr old has and he used the same inhaler and got what the 8 yrold has on top of his own infection. He needs to see the doctor. You may be right, you may be wrong. Better let that person with 8 yrs of schooling check them.

Edit: that little chamber that attaches to the inhaler is called a spacer. It catches the mist and lets them inhale more of the medicine.

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answers from Dallas on

They also have a little chamber thing that attaches to the inhaler. There is, of course a proper term, but I can't remember the name of it. It has to be prescribed by the doctor, so if you take him to the doctor, ask him about the chamber to help him get the timing right. My son is 11 and still uses his every once in awhile. It attaches to the mouthpiece of th inhaler, and is about 5 or 6 inches long and has a similar mouthpiece that goes in the mouth. It contains the mist until the child inhales it.

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answers from Denver on

Yes, a six yr old can use it. I have asthma and my son hasn't been disagnosed, but gets wheezing a bit sometimes. He was prescribed one at 5 years old. I wouldn't ask the dr. if your 6 yr old can use it b/c legally they'll tell you no and to bring him/her in. I would just try one inhalation to begin with, wait a few minutes and if it doesn't help, try one other. Just don't use more than 2 inhalations twice a day. The only real side effect would be hyperness, maybe a little shaky hands. Usually that only happens if too much is taken. It's difficult to OD on an inhaler! Good luck!



answers from Boca Raton on

I'm generally for staying far away from the doctor when possible but this is one of those situations where I would want my other child to have his own inhaler (if needed) if for no other reason than they don't pass germs back and forth.

Also you would want professional help ruling out any possible adverse interactions of an inhaler with other drugs, allergies, etc.



answers from Dover on

Can a 6 yr old use an inhaler? yes but I think it depends on the child.
Do other 6 yr olds use inhalers? yes (my daughter has allergies and we have one for her to use if she needs it....she does great)
Dosage should be close to the same but may depend on weight...check w/ your doctor (if your 6 yr old needs one he should have his own anyway)
Another option would be a neubulizer to do an albuterol breathing treatment. They are not "fast acting" like an inhaler may be but they are actually more efficient.


answers from Dallas on

My son has had an inhaler since he was six months. He had a mask that distanced the inhaler from his face so the puff wasn't so concentrated but now if he does have to use it at the age of 4, I just do one puff about 4 inches from his face. But he also has a breathing machine now too that works better and he can do it himself.



answers from Portland on

I suggest that you can call the doctor's advice nurse and ask about this. You may not need to take him in.

My granddaughter has asthma and has been using a rescue inhaler since she was 3 or so.

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