If you are the parent of a child with asthma, RSV, or another respiratory ailment, then a nebulizer treatment is probably a part of your routine.

The trick is getting your toddler to cooperate long enough to give the treatment when they are scared or dread the process. Their squirming and crying leads to shallow breathing, which keeps the asthma medication from being as effective.

Toddlers don't like breathing treatment

We scoured the web for tips from REAL PARENTS who have learned how to make their kids tolerate (and even enjoy) the process. Here are our favorites:

  1. Choose a time that your child is most relaxed. If giving a night-time treatment, make it a part of a bedtime routine, after a warm bath. Use the time to read a book with your child, or let him watch a few minutes of their favorite television show.
  2. Use the nebulizer at the same time and in the same place every day. Then it will become a regular part of your child’s routine. Make a game out of using the nebulizer. You could sing or pretend to be an astronaut while you do it, for example.
  3. Make the nebulizer machine more child-friendly by encouraging your child to decorate their mask.
  4. If your child is older, he or she may like taking some of the responsibility for the nebulizer treatment. Allow your child to help you put the mask on and turn the machine on and off.
  5. If they are younger, put them in the highchair, and place some toys on the tray.
  6. Have an iPhone or iPad? Allow them to play Angry Birds or a similar kid-friendly app. Or Allow them to watch their favorite movie.
  7. In between treatments allow the baby to play with the mask. Put the nebulizer on from time to time but don’t give a treatment. That will help the baby associate those things with play and something not to be concerned with.
  8. Give your mask a name like “nebbie.” A Few fun, friendly nebulizer masks can be found here.
  9. Add an Easy Breathing Band to your mask. It will allow a busy kiddo to move around and play freely. Breathing treatments no longer have to interrupt playtime and your life.