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Deadly Inhaler Mistakes: Make Sure Your Kids Are Familiar With Their Inhalers

David W. Hodges
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law
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If you are a parent of young children with asthma, you know all too well the daily struggle of trying to teach your children how to control their asthma through daily-use inhalers as well as emergency inhalers.

Daily-use inhalers, or maintenance inhalers, contain slow-acting, long-lasting medicine to prevent asthma symptoms from occurring. Emergency inhalers, or rescue inhalers, contain fast-acting medicine that works quickly to restore breathing. Children with serious asthma often require both types of inhalers, and it is imperative that they are clear on which one to use and when to use it.

Inhalers Can Be Difficult to Distinguish During an Asthma Attack

Many inhalers look nearly identical, but when emergency strikes, it is critical that your child is very clear on which inhaler to use. Even for many adults, when the panic of a sudden asthma attack sets in, it can be difficult to discern between two different medications. For children, this distinction can be even more challenging.

To prevent tragedy, be sure that your child has a clear understanding of how to use his inhalers. Your pediatrician, as well as your pharmacist, will be able to talk to your child about the medication in a way he can understand. Have your child demonstrate proper use of the inhalers for the doctor, so that any confusion can be cleared up quickly.

Very young children do not have the reading comprehension to distinguish between two inhalers, so ask your pharmacist for help in making each inhaler distinct. Color-coding the inhalers can help young children easily pick out their rescue inhalers when they need them most.

Do you or someone you know have a child that deals with multiple inhalers? Share this article on social media and help spread the word about how inhaler awareness can save a child’s life!

 

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