Clinical Tip - Getting children to huff and puff during the lung exam

April 1, 2007

Web Exclusive Clinical Tip: Getting children to huff and puff during the lung exam

Web Exclusive Clinical Tip: Getting children to huff and puff during the lung exam

To enlist a young patient's cooperation during the lung examination, I rip up some of the paper from the examining table and hold it in my cupped hand. Then I ask the child to try and blow the paper pieces out of my hand. This usually encourages the child to take deep breaths in an attempt to fill the lungs for a hard blow. I keep my hand cupped to encourage more tries until, toward the end of the examination, I flatten out my hand so that the child can blow the paper to the floor. The game generally results in a successful lung examination and a smiling child.

Karen Hick, MDMinneapolis, Minn.