Using asthma inhalers

Asthma inhalers and medicines must be used regularly to help control asthma. A preventative inhaler should be taken every day as prescribed. A reliever inhaler should be taken as needed. If your child is using their reliever inhaler more often than usual, consider arranging a review with their doctor or nurse.

Make sure your child takes their preventer inhaler every day as prescribed. Children and young people should always use their inhaler with a spacer. This is the most effective delivery of medication.

The pharmacy section of this toolkit also has useful tips and information on using inhalers.

If your inhaler does not have a dose counter it is difficult to tell if it is empty. This leaflet from Beat asthma gives you some helpful tips.

Inhaler techniques

A person’s inhaler technique should be assessed at every contact with a health professional.

Beat Asthma has some excellent short films on how to use different spacers, as well as other resources, in the ‘videos’ section of their website

The Hands-on Guide to Practical Paediatrics team has put together instructional videos on how to use different inhalers:

How to use a metered dose inhaler (MDI) with a volumatic spacer

 How to use a Turbuhaler

 How to use an Accuhaler

 How to use an Easi-Breathe inhaler

The Hands-on Guide to Practical Paediatrics team has also developed an instructional video on how to give inhalers to a young child or baby.

 West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust shared this short video for #AskAboutAsthma 2022 week where paediatric respiratory nurse specialist Liz and asthma patient Evelyn show you how to use an inhaler with a spacer and face mask. Face masks are recommended for children under five, or as appropriate to the individual child.