In this section
Inhalation (breathing in) is the best way to take most asthma medications. Giving a child their asthma medication through a puffer and spacer relieves asthma symptoms just as well as using nebulisers, which are the machines often used in hospitals or ambulances to deliver asthma medication.
It is important to remember the following when using a puffer and spacer:
Spacers are used with mouthpieces, or with facemasks for younger children and babies.
If further puffs are needed, shake the puffer again and repeat steps 4 to 7. You can shake the puffer while it is still attached to the spacer.
When putting back together spacers that have removable valves (such as Breath-A-Tech), ensure the four holes in the valve fit over the location pegs. Spare valves can be purchased from your local pharmacy.
When should I buy a new spacer?
Replace your child’s spacer about once a year if they you use it every day. Buy a new one straight away if the spacer breaks or cracks.
What should I do if my child needs to use the spacer again
if it is still wet after washing? Should I dry it with a clean tea towel?
You should never wipe a spacer dry – wiping the spacer creates static electricity inside the chamber, making the medicine stick to the side walls and not enter the lungs effectively. It is a good idea to always have a spare spacer and not wash both at
the same time. Don't wash the spacer during an asthma attack so that it is readily available if needed. If a spacer is wet, do not use it. Use the puffer directly instead while waiting for the spacer to drip dry.
Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital General Medicine department. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Reviewed May 2018.
This information is awaiting routine review. Please always seek the most recent advice from a registered and practising clinician.
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This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.