For over a century, Vicks has made products to treat coughs and colds. Beginning with the potent, but soothing VapoRub that was rubbed onto the chest, or put into the vaporizers of those suffering from congestion, to the present day, offering several cough and cold medications and steam inhalers. Vicks offers over the counter in drug stores, the VapoInhaler, Electric Personal Steam Inhaler 1200 and Portable Personal Steam Inhaler 1300 to assist in the fight against cold and flu season. Learning to use these inhalers will make symptomatic relief from a cold or flu easily obtainable.
Vicks Electric Personal Steam Inhaler 1200
Place the inhaler on a flat surface and unravel the cord. Failure to unravel the cord could cause overheating and fire.
Remove the inhaler hood from the base. This is done by holding the base with one hand and pulling up on the clear plastic hood.
Remove the vent assembly by turning it counterclockwise and lining up it up with the arrow that is on top of the base, just above the power switch. The tabs should align with the slots in the base, then lift the vent assembly straight up. The vent assembly is the middle piece between the hood and the base of the inhaler.
Fill the water reservoir, using tap water, until it is just below the reservoir cup rim. Do not add any medicaments, such as Vicks Scent Pads, Vicks VapoSteam or Kaz Inhalant. This inhaler is intended to use steam only.
Return the vent assembly to its proper position. This is done by setting it back onto the base and turning it clockwise. Then return the hood to its proper position.
Plug the cord into a power supply and turn the switch to the "on" position. A red light will illuminate. It will take approximately three to five minutes for steam to start to flow.
Adjust the flow levers to create the amount of steam preferred. For more steam, turn the vent lever clockwise toward the "HI" setting. Keep in mind more steam will create more heat. Turn the flow lever counterclockwise to decrease the steam flow.
Place your face into the hood and inhale the steam through your mouth and nose. The steam should be inhaled for five to 15 minutes to get the maximum benefit. Do not touch the hood to your face; it could cause burns, especially when the steam is set on high. Because there are no medicaments involved, this treatment can be repeated as needed for anyone 2 years of age and up. Children will need extra assistance to prevent burns.
Turn the power switch to the "off" position once the inhaler treatment is completed. The red light will go out. Allow the unit to cool completely before emptying the water.
Vicks Portable Personal Steam Inhaler 1300
Remove the top of the inhaler by holding the top part in one hand, the bottom in the other and twisting in opposite directions. Then lift the top off of the bottom.
Fill the base of the top part of the 1300 inhaler to the water line with hot tap water. Try to get the water as hot as possible, but do not use boiling water.
Open a Vicks Scent Pad package and add it to the hot water. If preferred, 1 tsp. of Vicks VapoSteam or Kaz Inhalant can be used in lieu of the Vicks Scent Pad.
Put the top back onto the base of the inhaler by holding one end in each hand and then twisting the top onto the base.
Place the inhaler over your nose and mouth, then breathe deeply to inhale the vapors from the hot water and the scent pad. For best results this should be done for 15 minutes. The treatment can be used up to three times in a 24-hour period by anyone over the age of 2.
Empty the water and rinse and dry the base and top of the inhaler after you are finished using it.
Open the Vicks VapoInhaler stick by twisting the rounded cap at the top end of the inhaler and pulling it off.
Insert the open end of the inhaler into one nostril and then plug the opposite nostril with your finger.
Exhale to remove all breath and then inhale deeply and quickly twice through the nose to pull in the Vicks VapoInhaler active ingredient of levmetamfetamine. The dosage for those 12 years old and over is two inhalations per nostril as needed but no more than every two hours. For a child 6 to 12 years of age, one inhalation in each nostril as needed, not to exceed every two hours. For children 2 to 6 years of age, consult a physician.
Advance the dial at the bottom of the tube one complete turn and then repeat the treatment with the other nostril.
Wipe the top of the VapoInhaler with a damp cloth or tissue and replace the cap.
Avoid tipping the 1200 or 1300 as burns may result. Do not add more water than the instructions indicate. Overfilling will cause leaks in both units.
Do not take medication of any kind without first consulting a physician. Children under 2 years of age should not use Vicks products. Do not use if these products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without first consulting a physician. Exercise extreme care with the use of the Electric Personal Steam Inhaler 1200, and do not use it near a sink or water. Children under the age of 12 should not use an inhaler without proper supervision.
Annmarie Keller has been a writer for more than 20 years. She has published her work in "Redbook," "Parenting," "Sunset" and "Good Housekeeping." Keller earned a bachelor's degree in English from California State University, Hayward.