Incentive Spirometry (Pediatrics)
Helps Restore and Maintain Respiratory Fitness
Deep breathing is very important to your child’s health and well-being. It expands the small air sacs of the lungs and helps keep the lungs and airways clear. Children take many deep breaths each hour – often without being aware of it. These deep breaths are routine and occur in the form of sighs and yawns.
At certain times the normal breathing pattern can change. When a child is not active or on bedrest, breathing tends to become shallow. Also, when the child is having pain after surgery, breathing tends to become shallow. Deep breaths are avoided in an effort to reduce pain. Full, deep breaths can help prevent pneumonia.
The nurse will explain the deep breathing and coughing exercises your child will need to do after surgery. Your child will also be shown how to use the incentive spirometer, a device to help breathe deeply.
Deep Breathing After Surgery or for the Inactive Patient
Please practice these steps before surgery.
1. Place your child’s hand on his belly. Have your child breathe in deeply and slowly through the nose. Have him push his belly out as he breathes in. Have your child hold a breath for a second or two.
2. Ask your child to breathe out slowly and fully through the mouth.
3. Repeat twice more.
4. Have your child breathe in again, hold a breath, then cough (if told to do so) from deep in the lungs (not a shallow throat cough), or repeat step 2. Holding a pillow over the incision may help to decrease the pain during coughing.
5. Repeat the steps as instructed.
How to Use A Deep Breathing Exerciser (Incentive Spirometer)
1. With the unit in an upright position, have your child blow the air out of his lungs (exhale). Have him place his lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
2. Have your child take a deep breath (inhale) enough air to raise the flow rate guide between the arrows.
3. Have your child hold the deep breath. Continue to inhale and keep the guide as high as he can for as long as he can.
4. Have your child exhale and relax. After each deep breath, take a moment to rest, relax, and breathe as normal. Then repeat the steps as directed.
5. Cough after ten deep breaths.
Aireze Incentive Deep Breathing Exerciser, Sherwood Medical, St. Louis, MO, 63103.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/03/2011
Copyright © 02/03/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5445
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