No child likes to take medicine, but with these tricks they will do it without question
It is no coincidence that children’s medications come flavored and with more colorful packaging than normal. Most children find it hard to take medicine when they get sick, and many parents say their child makes a big fuss when they see the spoon near their mouth.
Even if the medicine tastes like vanilla or banana, many children are reluctant to take it, and they throw big tantrums at the time of the dose. Children’s refusal to take the remedies brings great headaches to parents, who time and again wonder if they should force them or try other less traumatic tactics.
Somehow I managed to get my children to almost always take their medications without complaint. Both ibuprofen and antibiotics in syrup form, they have almost never shown resistance to taking them. Moreover, when one of the two is sick, the other also wants to drink. Ibuprofen has a rich flavor, and it is understandable that they do not resist, but the times they have taken antibiotics they have not always put on a good face and yet they have taken it very bravely. Perhaps a series of factors are conjugated: that they do not take too often, that most of the time they only take ibuprofen (the rich one) and that I have used a syringe, which they actuate themselves to bring the liquid to their mouth.
So far, I have not had to administer pills, but I’ll tell you when it happens. Meanwhile, I also had to put nasal drops and ear drops, with the occasional crying included, of course.
The Parents site compiles a series of tips to help your child take their medications without question, knowing that it is something beneficial for their health.
Children are adept at deciphering adult body and body language. Don’t stress when it’s time to give her the medicine. Smile, and put on a good face. Let him perk up on his own when he sees you relaxed and smiling. It all begins as if it were a game, and if necessary, sing a song to her.
2. Let him choose
Children love to experiment. As I told you before, mine love to take their remedies with a plastic syringe that I always use for that purpose. You can ask your child if he wants a spoon, a cup, or a syringe. If it is something big, you can let him serve it himself, with your help.
3. Prevent them from feeling the bitter taste
When they are small and do not like the sensation of the taste in their mouth, the trick of the syringe is indicated, because you can make the liquid go directly to their throat. When they are babies and there is no way to make them understand that they take the medicine, or spit it out, the best way is to approach without them seeing the medicine and put the syringe in their mouth, and ensure that the liquid does not touch their taste buds.
4. Disguise the flavors
Although many medications are flavored, some are not entirely pleasant. You can ask your trusted doctor if it is feasible to mix the medicine with some fruit puree or juice. In this way, the child can feel a pleasant taste and may even look forward to the moment of the medicine.
5. The ice trick
When the time for the doses of the remedy approaches, one trick is to give a child a piece of ice to suck on. This makes your taste buds go numb and you taste a lot less. If the child is very young, the piece of ice must be large enough so that it does not enter his mouth, and thus not be in danger of suffocation. Another trick is to place medications in the refrigerator so they are cold before dispensing.
6. Make it all a game
They can play doctor with the child’s dolls before taking the medicine. Pretend that she was the doctor and had to give Teddy the bear a spoonful of medicine. Through play it will be easier to assimilate the experience when it is his turn to take the medicine.
7. Always tell the truth
Don’t tell him the medicine will be delicious when it really is horrible. Talk to your child and tell him that although the taste is somewhat bitter, it is the only thing that will make him feel better. You may be surprised by the results.
And the pills?
Most medicines for children come in liquid form, as children have been known to resist swallowing a pill. The truth is that, according to the BBC, and according to Dr. Diana Van Reit-Nales, head of a Dutch study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood where the acceptability of different oral medications in preschool children was studied, no trick it is necessary to get children to take pills because they can just do it themselves. The issue is, of course, that they are reluctant to do so.
The research analyzed the acceptability of the placebo in various presentations: pill, syrup or powder. Parents were asked to give their children, aged 1 to 4, these drugs at home and almost all – 98% – swallowed the pill without problems. And the surprising thing is that, unless there is a physical problem, all children are able to swallow food and drink without problems, and therefore a small pill too.
Dr. Van Reit-Nales, considers that the ability to swallow a pill is something important to learn, so that you do not always have to resort to medications in liquid form. However, achieving this is not easy at all, as it requires time and commitment from parents to ensure that their children build security and confidence when taking a pill.
The tricks mentioned above are at the service of parents. Which one of them have you had to use, or which are you going to use today?