Cranky, in pain and in a poor disposition, your child is not feeling well. On top of that you have to give them medicine. This is not a pleasant task. Your child may be too young to understand why they have to take it, or they may be old enough to understand, but simply don’t want to cooperate. It can be frustrating, so here are 5 tricks to get your child to take their much needed medication.
Mary Poppins Method
The perfect nanny had it right; giving your child medicine with a camouflage is a great way to get them to agree. If you aren’t thrilled about a sugary treat as a camouflage, yogurt and applesauce are great choice. Also it doesn’t hurt to actually sing “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” because as you know the more “fun” it is, your child will be more willing to cooperate. Just make sure that the masking agent you choose doesn’t have an interaction with the medicine you’re giving, causing it to be more or less potent.
It’s All about the Placement
Use a dropper for liquid medicine and place it in the pouch of their cheek. Not only does it stay away from the back of the tongue where their bitter taste buds are, it is harder for them to spit it out.
Choose a Flavor They Will Enjoy
I know from experience that you can choose a flavor for prescriptions at Wal-Mart. Whenever my son Max has to take medicine, I have the orange flavor mixed in. He’s not big on the bubble gum flavor. Let me tell you the one time I had the prescription filled with the bubble gum flavor, it was a very long 14 days!
Think Like They Do
Although, you child may not be talking in full sentences yet, you know that they understand. With the being said, you can think like they do. For example, if your child is comfortable drinking out of a straw, tell him/her that they should take a sip from the “straw” (the dropper). It really is about perspective.
Empathize with a Little Bribery
“I know it tastes yucky, but after you take your medicine, we can go read your book.”
It is so important to acknowledge their feelings. It is truly a lesson to them that sometimes in life we have to do things we don’t want to, and adding a positive at the end gives them “light at the end of the tunnel”.
Good luck! This can be a hard one, but with your creativeness, it can be done. If you are still struggling with getting your child to take their medicine, talk with their pediatrician. He or she may be able to prescribe the medicine in a different form.