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How to use a Puffer and Spacer for Kids

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Using your puffer (inhaler) and spacer properly is important when you have asthma.

This short clip shows you how to use a standard metered dose inhaler (MDI), often called a puffer, with a spacer.


A standard puffer and spacer is used with many different medications. These include:

Checklist of steps

  1. Assemble spacer
  2. Remove inhaler cap
  3. Hold inhaler upright and shake well
  4. Insert inhaler upright into spacer
  5. Put mouthpiece between teeth without biting and close lips to form good seal
  6. Breathe out gently
  7. Hold spacer level and press down firmly on canister once
  8. Breathe in and out normally for 3 or 4 breaths*
  9. Remove spacer from mouth
  10. Breathe out gently away from mouthpiece
  11. Remove inhaler from spacer
  12. If more than one dose is needed, repeat all steps from step 3
  13. Replace cap and disassemble spacer

Your inhaler and spacer will come with instructions in the package. Always check the package insert for any specific instructions.

* Having several breaths may be easier for young children and/or during an asthma attack when a single deep breath is too difficult to manage.

Common problems


Spacer care

Getting the most out of your inhaler

Ask your doctor, pharmacist or asthma & respiratory educator to:

Different brands of inhalers sometimes have slightly different instructions to each other for similar steps. The checklists in our How-To Video library have been simplified and standardised where possible to reduce confusion.

Your inhaler will come with instructions in the package. Always check the package insert for any specific instructions.

Other inhaler types

See our complete How-to video library for other inhaler types and how to use them.


Thanks to Ms Judi Wicking, asthma and respiratory educator, and the patient who participated in this film clip.

Development of this How-to video was supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The National Asthma Council Australia retained editorial control.


Although all care has been taken, this video is a general guide only, which is not a substitute for assessment of appropriate courses of treatment on a case-by-case basis. The National Asthma Council Australia expressly disclaims all responsibility (including for negligence) for any loss, damage or personal injury resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.