When you need to do aerosol to children

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The cold season arrives, that of aerosols, often prescribed to deal with seasonal ailments.

"In Del Paese there is a real abuse of this therapy, prescribed even when there is no scientific evidence of its effectiveness and in diseases that often resolve themselves, to indulge and reassure those parents who insist on having one anyway" treatment "», underlines Susanna Esposito, full professor of pediatrics at the University of Perugia and president of the World Association for Infectious Diseases and Immunological Disorders (WAidid).

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Aerosol therapy nebulizes drugs in microscopic droplets and manages to get them quickly into the lower respiratory tract. "It is therefore superfluous to use it in problems of the upper airways, such as colds, sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and, indeed, it can be counterproductive, because it dries the mucous membranes and can favor their colonization by bacteria", explains the pediatrician.

Read also: too many aerosol pre-registrations, an entirely Del Paeseno phenomenon

"In these cases, nasal washes with physiological solution (ie water and salt) associated with rest, paracetamol in case of fever, and antibiotics if the infection is bacterial, can be useful and sufficient." According to the pediatrician, washing should be done routinely in the cold months, especially in children who attend nurseries and maternal, to humidify the mucous membranes. The aerosol is not indicated even in case of pneumonia or acute catarrhal bronchitis. "The use of aerosol to convey mucolytics that dissolve the phlegm has not, in fact, proven efficacy", continues the expert. Furthermore, in acute bronchitis (generally of viral origin) there is no bronchospasm, that is, the narrowing of the bronchi which makes it difficult to breathe.


"The aerosol was created to counteract bronchospasms: bronchial asthma and asthmatic bronchitis are the two cases in which it has the best effects, nebulizing physiological solution, corticosteroids and bronchodilators", reiterates Esposito. «It can then be used, with physiological solution and cortisone, in case of laryngitis. Finally, it is also indicated in bronchiolitis, a viral infection of the last bronchial branches: it begins with a hypertonic solution (water purified with salts) and, only in the most serious cases, a bronchodilator (salbutamol) is added ".

Choose the right appliance

In order to be really effective, in the cases where it is indicated, aerosol therapy must be done with the right device: "Before purchasing, check with the pharmacist what is the size of the blistered particles: they must be small (ie with a size between 0,5 , 5 and XNUMX microns) to reach the bronchi easily and quickly ”, recommends Professor Esposito.
If, then, the instrument is intended for small children, prefer it to ultrasound: it is more expensive, but less noisy and faster, therefore less annoying. "Alternatively, you can opt for a spacer, a sort of tube complete with a mask which, when applied to spray cans with pre-dosed drugs, allows you to deeply nebulize the same amount of active ingredient as the aerosol, but in a few seconds and without physiological solution »Says Esposito.

  • aerosol children
  • 3-5 children years
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