How to Use an HFA Inhaler

  use inhaler

Children should use an inhaler with a SPACER. When an inhaler is used alone, medicine will end up in the mouth, throat, stomach and lungs.


Asthma > De-Triggering

One important component of the Three-Part Plan is reducing exposure to asthma triggers. School staff can work together to reduce triggers in the school, but parents and families can also reduce triggers in the home.

Common asthma triggers found in the home include dust, dirt, dust mites, cockroaches, mice, pet dander, feathers, cigarette smoke, chemicals, strong scents, mold, and mildew. While it may not be possible to have a trigger-free home, there are many things that parents and families can do to reduce asthma triggers.

Here are some tips. Share them with other parents and families. With all your ideas together, you can make a difference for children with asthma.

Dust and Dirt
Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth to hold dust.
Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Wash stuffed toys, pillows, and blankets often.
Get rid of rugs and curtains, if possible.
Have children not sleep with stuffed toys. Store them in plastic bins.
Get rid of clutter.

Cockroaches, Rodents, and Dust Mites
Clean up food and water spills right away.
Wipe countertops and empty sinks every night.
Keep food in containers with lids or in sealed bags.
Don’t leave food out overnight.
Put away pet food at night.
Take garbage out every day, and seal bags.
Use traps and block holes rather than spraying.
Use a plastic cover on mattresses.

Pet Dander and Feathers
It is best to give pets to a friend or neighbor to take care of.
Keep furry pets out of bedrooms and off of beds and furniture.
Pets like fish or reptiles are good pets for children with asthma.

Scents, Chemicals, and Smoke
Avoid wearing perfumes, colognes, or scented deodorants.
Do not use air fresheners or strong-smelling cleaning products.
Use “green” cleaning products.
Clean when children are not at home. Wear a mask if you have asthma.
Open windows 10 minutes a day.
Never smoke inside the home or car.
Quit smoking!

Mold and Mildew
Wipe up spills right away.
Wash towels, sheets, and blankets in very hot water.
Open windows or doors in the bathroom regularly.
Throw out old sponges.
Mold that covers more than 10 sq. feet requires professional attention.

Click here for a checklist about reducing triggers at home, and a tipsheet about green cleaning products.





Medication with
an HFA Inhaler

inhaler use

1. Shake the canister.

2. Remove the cap.

3. Prime the canister by spraying into the air to release a puff of medication.

Repeat shaking and priming 3 or 4 times, as required.

Attach SPACER to inhaler.

4. Breathe out. Placespacer mouthpiece in the mouth between the teeth.

5. Close mouth. Press down once.

6. Breathe in and hold breath for 6-10 seconds, then breathe out. Check the time.

Repeat after five minutes, if required.

Spacers come in many sizes. Some whistle to alert that breath has been let out too quickly. Clean after each use according to the instructions on the package.