Using a metered-dose inhaler with a spacer (child)

Shake the inhaler and attach the spacer: Step 1

Child attaching mouthpiece of metered-dose inhaler to end of spacer.
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slide 1 of 6, Shake the inhaler and attach the spacer: Step 1,

Shake the inhaler and remove the inhaler cap. Check the inhaler instructions to see if you need to prime your inhaler before you use it. If it needs priming, follow the instructions on how to prime your inhaler. Then place the mouthpiece of the inhaler into the spacer.

Remove the spacer cap: Step 2

Child removing cap from end of spacer.
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slide 2 of 6, Remove the spacer cap: Step 2,

Remove the cap from the mouthpiece of the spacer.

Hold the inhaler upright: Step 3

Child holding inhaler upright.
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slide 3 of 6, Hold the inhaler upright: Step 3,

Hold the inhaler upright.

Breathe out slowly and completely: Step 4

Child slowly breathing out with inhaler held away from mouth.
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slide 4 of 6, Breathe out slowly and completely: Step 4,

Stand or sit up straight. Tilt your head back slightly. With the spacer a short distance from your mouth, breathe out slowly and completely.

Place the spacer's mouthpiece: Step 5

Child putting spacer mouthpiece into mouth.
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slide 5 of 6, Place the spacer's mouthpiece: Step 5,

Place the spacer's mouthpiece in your mouth.

Press down on the inhaler and breathe in: Step 6

Child pressing down on inhaler and breathing in medicine.
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slide 6 of 6, Press down on the inhaler and breathe in: Step 6,

Press down on the inhaler to spray one puff of medicine into the spacer. Then start breathing in slowly and deeply (press first, then breathe in). Hold your breath for 10 seconds to give the medicine time to settle in your lungs. Then breathe out slowly.

If you need to take a second dose, wait 30 to 60 seconds to allow the inhaler valve to refill.

Current as of: October 26, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine