What To Do When Your Child Won’t Take Medicine

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Some children don’t mind taking medicine.  They don’t mind the yucky taste of some liquids and they are able to swallow pills without too much trouble.  Other children just don’t “do” the medicine thing well.

It’s important that children take medicine as it is prescribed.  How many times have you given your child a teaspoon of carefully measured medicine only to have him spit out half of it, or dribble some of it down his chin.  “Lost” doses of medicine mean longer healing time and may cause other complications.

If your child is an infant, you can buy bottles that are specially designed for mixing formula and medicine.  I’ve seen several models at the local drug store and also at our local “super store”.  Prices vary, but you can spend up to $10 for a specially designed bottle.

I’ve also seen specially designed pacifiers which can hold medicine.  The idea is that as your child sucks on the pacifier, he or she will get the medicine.  I’ve not had such good results with this product, but you might.  My son was very particular about the shape of the pacifier nipple, and I couldn’t find a model that was like his regular pacifier.  Also, after a few seconds, he realized that when he sucked on the pacifier, he got yucky tasting medicine.  He would usually spit the pacifier out at that point.

Some pharmacies will flavor your child’s medicine.  This service costs extra money, but it might just be the trick to getting your child to take his medicine without a fuss.

Some children don’t mind the taste of some medicines, but dislike the taste of others.  For example, my children don’t mind the taste of one kind of anti-biotic, but they dislike the taste of another variety.  I always ask the doctor if it’s possible to try “x medicine” because of this fact.

If your child has trouble swallowing pills, make sure you ask for a liquid prescription.  Although it might not be possible to get all prescriptions in liquid form, it’s worth asking! While you are asking about medication options, check to see if there is an option which will require less dosages during the day.  For example, is there a medication which your child would only need to take once a day that might work?  I’d take that option over the medication that needs to be taken 3 times a day! 

I’ve also found that “a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down”.  Remember that song?  Having your child drink a sweet drink after taking nasty tasting medicine really does help.   

 If all of my options have run out, I’ve been known to bribe my children.  Recently, my one child was on a very strong and nasty tasting medication for an illness.  Nothing seemed to work until I told her I’d take her to the Dollar Store and I’d let her pick out a toy if she took her medicine.  Miraculously, I never had another medicine problem with her!

Do you have any tried and true tricks for getting your child to take medicine? Please post!


Cassandra says:

freeze the medice with some kind of juice. not only does it numb the taste buds,but it usually comes out lookin like a ice cube popsicle.

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