20 Ways To Trick Your Kid Into Taking Their Medicine
Nov 19, · A simple way to get a child to take medicine is to turn it into a game by maybe making up three spoons or syringes (one with juice, one with meds and one with water) and asking them to drink each to tell you which is the medicine. Jan 27, · Trying to get your toddler to take medicine with a grimace on your face will clue her in to the fact that she’s in for something unpleasant. Give her a say. Empower your child by lettering her choose between different flavors or colors of medicine if you have the option. That way she’ll feel like she has some control over the situation.
Do you struggle to get your kids to take needed medicine? These mom- and pediatrician-tested tips may help. Deb McMaster, of Mansfield, Massachusetts, remembers the struggles all too well.
When her son, Connor, was a toddler, he had a series of ear infectionsand, she says, he quickly decided that he really hated taking medicine.
Doctors agree that getting kids to take medicine, especially if they have a chronic condition, can be a challenge for any parent. Of course, when your children are sick, you do need to find a way to get them to take that medicine. Giuliano says. Older kids will often respond to reason and encouragement, she explains, and younger kids will take their cue from a parent's emotions. For kids old enough to understand, explain why they need to take medicine.
Explain how it will help them. Prepare them in advance. If there is a choice of flavors, let the child choose. Kids sometimes benefit from "medical play. Your doctor may be able to choose medicines that taste better or are more concentrated and need to be taken less often.
If you are having trouble, ask for help, Giuliano advises. There may be flavor options for some types of medicines. If your children are having trouble taking their medicine, ask your doctor about this option. In most cases, it is safe to crush a pill or open a capsule and disguise the medicine in a favorite food, Giuliano says. But, she warns, always ask your doctor first: Some pills, such as a time-release medicine, may be altered if you open or crush them. You also need to make sure your children eat all the food so they get the full dose of medicine.
Some taste-deflection tips include coating the tongue with syrup or giving the child something cold, like what sauce goes with squid ink pasta Popsicle, before they take medicine, or washing away the taste quickly with something sweet after they take medicine.
Parents can use a dropper or a syringe to get the medicines to the back or side of the tongue. But with this method you need to make sure the child is firmly supported and upright to prevent choking, Giuliano warns. Older kids will often respond to a reward system. She suggests starting by teaching them to swallow tiny pieces of candy.
Some tips for swallowing include dipping capsules in cold water to make them slippery, breaking pills up into smaller pieces, and putting a pill in a lump of Jell-O. In these cases, kids can be restrained with the help of an extra caregiver, she suggests. One gentle way to do this is a hugging restraint with the child wrapped in a blanket.
Health Topics. Health Tools. Kids' Health. Last Updated: March 31, Medically Reviewed. Most parents can tell you that getting a young child to take medicine can be a tough sell. Here are some ways around the medicine issue: 1. Have the right attitude. Give kids some control. Get help from your doctor. Improve the flavor. Add medicine to food. Fool the tongue.
Steps how to draw a rose the tongue. Give a visual reward. Teach kids to swallow pills. When all else fails. Keep a positive attitude and talk to your pediatrician if you need help.
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Last Updated: September 15, References. To create this article, 26 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.
There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 26, times. Learn more If you make medicine seem normal, most kids will resist much less. Once they've got the idea it's scary, though, it's hard to change their minds.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks in the parenting book. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue.
Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article parts. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Part 1 of Start positive. If you make something sound bad, the child will think the same thing. For the first dose of a new medicine, just say "Here, take this medicine. Explain what the medicine is for. Explain why the medicine is a good thing.
Look up the details and try to explain them. Pictures might help get the kid interested. Pretend you like it.
Show the child what to do by bringing it to your lips and pretending to take it. Say "yum! This is not all that effective, but it's an easy first step for young kids. For older children, give yourself a cup of "medicine" that's really fruit juice. Offer a reward. Pick something the child wants, and it will be a strong incentive.
Try candy, or a sticker on a reward chart that leads to a bigger prize. For some children, verbal praise can be enough. You can give hugs and kisses, but don't offer them in advance as a reward.
If the child doesn't cooperate and you refuse to hug, this can lead to bad feelings and more stubborn behavior. Use punishment very rarely. This often leads to power struggles, making the child more stubborn. Use it only after extreme misbehavior, or when the medicine is very important to health. Let the child know that if he does not take the medicine, you will take away a favorite activity or event. Part 2 of Combine medicine with chilled fruit juice or smoothie.
The colder and sweeter the drink, the more it will hide bad tastes. You can measure out liquid medicines and mix them directly into the drink. Pills should be taken first, then washed down with the drink. These make the medicine less effective. Grapefruit juice affects many medications, while milk affects some antibiotics. Hide the medicine in food.
Crush the pill and mix it with applesauce or mashed bananas. The child can't complain if he doesn't know it's there! If your child catches on, admit it's there and say you just wanted to make it taste good. National Institutes of Health Go to source Check the medicine label to make sure it can be eaten with food.
Add medicine flavoring drops to liquid doses. These drops increase sweetness and suppress some bitter tastes. Let your child choose the flavor. Pinch the child's nose shut. This can make bad-tasting liquid medicines much nicer. Try a new flavor of medicine. If the medicine is cheap and sold over the counter, buy another bottle from the child's section. There are usually several fruit flavors available.
Make sure you use a child-size dose. Ask the pharmacist if she has the prescription in flavored form. Part 3 of Use this method as a last resort. You may need to attempt this when a child is too young to understand why he needs to take medicine. Use this only after trying everything else, and only for important medicine, such as antibiotics. Explain what you'll do. Tell the child you will hold him still and give the medicine. Explain why it's so important that you have to do this.
Give him one last chance to comply. Have someone hold the child still. Get another family member to gently hold the child's arms at her sides. Give the medicine slowly. If you need to, pinch the nose to get the mouth open. Feed the medicine slowly, so the kid doesn't choke. Use a plastic syringe for young children. Aim it in the cheek to avoid choking. My brother has autism and thinks his Adam's apple is swallowed pills.
What do I do? Just tell him what the Adam's apple really is. You can simplify the definition as much as you need to. Yes No. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 9. Yes, if you can find a way to relate the guessing game to taking medicine and you find that this helps your child. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 5. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 4. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
If you take medicine, let your kid see you take it. Show that medicine is normal, not scary. Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0. If your teenager won't take medicine, have him talk to a doctor in private. Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0. Never feed a toddler lying on her back, to prevent choking. Helpful 19 Not Helpful 2. Don't call it something else like candy. You never want them to confuse medicine with candy, this could be dangerous if they see medicine in another situation and think of it as candy.