Struggling to get your kids to take required medicine? Most moms experience this, so what can you do about it? Here are some mom and pediatrician-tested tips that can help.
Doctors agree that getting kids to take their meds can post a real challenge for any parent. If you and the child start out with a bad experience, it can go downhill real fast and become a repeating challenge. When your child is sick, you need to do everything to get them to take that medicine.
Start with the right attitude. You need to have a positive attitude to begin with. Older kids will most likely respond to encouragement and reason, why younger kids typically take their cue based on their parent’s emotion. The more frustrated you get around medication time, the more your kid may resist.
Improve the medicine’s flavor. Remember the time your mom got you take a bite out of a banana when you were sick? Chances are, she inserted the medicine inside. Alternatively, pharmacist can use a product called FLAVORx, which can make medicines taste a lot better. Ask your doctor for this option if your children are having trouble taking their medicine.
Trick the tongue. Call it a sweet, white lie. Try coating your kid’s tongue with syrup or giving the child something cold, like ice-cream, before taking the medicine, or washing away the taste quickly with something sweet right after. Try dipping a spoon in chocolate syrup before adding the medicine. The chocolate will coat the tongue before the medicine goes down.
Give your children some control. For older kids, explain simply why they have to take the medicine. Explain that it will make them feel better. Prepare them in advance. Let the child choose if there is a choice of flavor. Some kids also benefit from “medical play.” Try letting the child practice giving medicine to a stuff animal or a doll.
Give a reward. Who doesn’t love rewards? In addition to verbal praise, give your kid a sticker, or an extra 30-minute game time/television. They will feel rewarded and would respond better the next time they take meds.
Teaching kids to swallow pills. Kids as young as 4 can be taught to swallow pills. Start by teaching them to swallow tiny pieces of candy. Try dipping capsules in cold water (or syrup) to make them slipper, same goes with bitter tablets.
Let your doctor for advice. Most doctors are experienced medicine givers. Pediatricians for instance, can soothe a child or reassure them about the medicine. Also, some medications taste better than others, and some can be given twice daily instead of four times. Codral cold and flu capsules (12 years and over) for instance doesn’t have that bitter taste that most tablets have and it’s also formulated for cold, flu, and cough, so they need not take multiple medications. Ask your doctor for medications that taste a little better or are more concentrated and required to be taken lesser.
Take note that as kids gets a little older, they naturally begin to understand the importance of taking medicine and will learn to swallow pills. Until then, parents like us needs to find the best option that works best for our child.