An improved method for collecting breath from 3- to 7-year-old children

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2014 May;38(4):507-9. doi: 10.1177/0148607113483178. Epub 2013 Mar 28.


Breath sampling and analysis provide healthcare professionals with a practical, noninvasive diagnostic measurement for children with a variety of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. New biomarkers found in human breath have been investigated and provide the opportunity to diagnose bacterial overgrowth and other underlying causes of GI dysfunction. Although several protocols have been described previously regarding breath sampling, few have demonstrated the feasibility of collection in young children. This communication introduces a simple game that allows for 3- to 7-year-old children to practice breath exhalation to give a proper breath sample in a relaxed and comfortable environment. The technique described offers clinicians a creative approach for obtaining breath samples from a child by reducing the apprehension and anxiety associated with the research and clinical environment.

Keywords: gastroenterology; nutrition assessment; pediatrics.

MeSH terms

  • Breath Tests / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Exhalation*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Specimen Handling / psychology