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Giving Medicine to Kids/Children Made Easier

Updated on March 20, 2016

Before you begin the medication.

Firstly only give prescription medication on your doctors/paediatricians advice.

Check with your pharmacist or doctor if the medication can be mixed with food or drinks because some medicines can't.

Follow directions. You could make a chart with medication times on the fridge, invite the child to participate by using stickers to mark off each dose.

A trick ain't a treat.

It's important not to 'trick' your small person by hiding it in their food. They'll wisen up pretty quickly and might refuse it altogether and you may risk not giving them the full dose each time therefore not maintaining the consistency you need when medicating.

Sensory hints.

Apparently sucking on an ice cube or ice block for a minute before giving medicine numbs your taste buds.

Holding your child's nose, or better still getting them to hold their own nose dulls the taste sensation. Less smell less taste.

Help when dosing your child.

Syringes are possibly the easiest method of dosing because they provide a more accurate dosage than cups or spoons and kids think they're fun (most times).

When using the syringe it's best to place it in the corner of their mouth and aim the medicine into the inside of their cheek. If you aim it down their throat, they'll possibly gag and if you put it in the front of their mouth, they'll probably spit it right back at you.

What you can mix with your kids medicine to make it taste better.

A couple of teaspoons of chocolate or strawberry Nesquik mixed straight into the medication is great if your child is particularly fussy, bare in mind that your chocolate and strawberry flavourings are loaded with sugar, but hey it works.

A personal favourite of ours is 'Up & Go' in vanilla, available in Australia as a breakfast type drink, this stuff masks amoxycillin perfectly.

Fruit smoothies or thick vegie drinks are also great, and use a chaser to rinse the remnants of any medicine left in the cup, to ensure they're getting the full dosage, consistency is important.

Mixing strawberry or chocolate flavoured drinking powder straight into the medicine.

A word on tablets or capsules.

Firstly check with your pharmacist if the tablet or capsule can be crushed or broken. Some tablets/capsules are slow release or have a special coating so are 'unable' to be crushed, or chewed.

You can try pushing the tablet or capsule into a piece of overripe banana and getting your child to swallow the whole bit. That way they're not gagging on the taste of the tablet.

Give your child 'some' control.

The child may feel better about the situation if he/she is offered choices. Whether it's what sort of drink or food they can have after they've had their medicine or some sort of activity, or even the location where it's to be given, for example eye drops.

"Would you like to do them in your cubby house or in your bedroom?"

Think about what sort of 'choices' you could offer beforehand so you don't get into a spat over some ridiculous thing your 3 year old decides is a great idea.

Give your child a reason why they have to take their medicine.

Explain to your child why he/she has to take the medication, for example;' to make you feel better', 'so you can go outside and play again', 'so you get better and we can go visit your cousins'... etc.

Maybe give them a goal to look forward to. e.g. 'in 7 sleeps time when you're finished we can go to the water park'.

Got an idea of your own.

If you have any great suggestions of your own please feel free to comment.

And I wish you all well!


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