Getting Kids to take medicine can be really tough. So if you are tired of the crying, screaming, spitting, and kicking it takes to get them to take their meds, try these great tips that will get medicine down any child!
Is it possible to get kids to take medicine without losing your mind?
Taking care of sick kids is not an easy task. The crying, the whining, the runny noses and coughing keeping them (and you!) up all night.
It’s enough to make any parent go crazy.
But what’s even worse is knowing that the only thing in the way of making them feel better is some icky tasting medicine.
So how do you get a child to take medicine without spitting it out? Or without throwing it up?
Belive it or not, it is possible!
I spent over 10 years wokring as a Pediatric RN in an Emergnecy Room during cough and cold season, getting little kids to take their medicine was my number 1 job.
When a parent would come in saying “My kid just won’t take medicine” I would grin, and say “Let me try”.
My record for getting little kids to take medicine is 100%. That’s right, I have never met a child I couldnt get medicine in. No amount of kicking, screaming, or spitting detered me.
I’m not trying to brag… I want to pass on my tricks and tips for getting any kid to take medicine. Sure, there may be a little fight involved, but it’s absolutely possible. Any mom can do it!
To find out what dosage of medication to give your child, head over to Healthychildren.org and find the right dosage for meds like Ibuprofen and Tylenol.
Before you try to give a child medication, try these things first.
Ask for a different type of medication. If you’re talking about fever meds like Tyleonl, Motrin, or even things like Benadryl, determine what you think would be best for your particular child.
Most these meds come in a syrup, chewable, or swallowable pill. Some even come in a suppository (you put in the butt).
If a child refuses to take any of these, then syrup is usually the easiest way to go.
Here are some sneaky ways to get your kids to take their medicine in syrup form…
1. Add a Flavor
Most hospitals or doctors offices have flavored syrup they can mix medications in to make them taste better.
Ask your pharmaist too. Sometimes they have options like grap, bubble gum, or even choolate.
2. Add Your Own Flavor
You know what your kid likes, so try to add that flavor to the medication at home. I always recommend Chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup masks the taste of almost any medicine. If they take a little before they take the medicine, it’ll coat the tongue and trick them into not tasting it at all.
3. Chill it Out
The medcine, not your child! But seriosuly, put the medcine in the fridge for a little bit. Things just usually taste better when they are cold. Think of milk or juice. Would you want to taste those warm?
4. Make a popsicle out of it
You can also try freezing the medication. Freezing it makes it basically turn into a popsicle. So they are more likely to WANT to try it. They also have to ingest it slowly when it’s frozen so there is a minimal chance of them spitting it out or throwing it up
5. Lick ice first
Have your child suck on a piece of ice. This will freeze the tast buds and your child will be able to take the medcine without even tasting it.
6. Add the medication to juice or milk
As long as the medication gets inside their body, that’s all that matters. If you need to trick them and put it in their favorite juice, in their favorite sippy cup, then go for it.
But only put it in a small amount of liquid. Adding the medicine to too much juice may just make it harder for them to drink and you’ll be left with a half of a sippy cup and no way to know how much medication they got.
7. Always use a syringe
Not only are syringes a lot more accurate than a medicine cup, but they are easier to control when trying to get a kid to take medicine also.
To avoid the icky taste, slowly drip the medcine from the syringe into their mouth on the side of their cheek. Their natural reflex will be to swallow and they won’t even taste it.
And because the medicine never touches the tongue, they have less of a chance of trying to spit it out.
8. Do the old switch-eroo
Use the syringe to draw up some of their favorite drink (juice, chocolate milk, etc) and have them take a few drinks from the syringe with just that in it.
THEN, draw up the medication and give it to them. They will think it’s just the same juice and not even see it coming!
What do you do when your child refuses to take medicine
Sometimes, no fancy tricks will get medicine down your kids throat. So you have to resort to other measures for getting kids to take medicine.
If your child is a fighter and just won’t take their medcine, here are some ways you can get it in them, whether they like it or not.
First and foremost you want to keep in mind that YOU are the boss, not them. The biggest mistake I see parents make is begging and pleading with their kids to take medince. They even promise cookies and candy after.
At this point, you’re giving them all the control. And when they have control, they think they have the right to refuse.
Come at your child in a serious way by letting them know that they need to take this medicine, and that’s that.
Don’t be afraid to be the bad guy. They will still love you!
When the child won’t take liquid medicine…
Getting a child to take liquid medication is not as hard as it seems. There are going to be those times when all the tricks above just don’t work and you need them to take their medicine.
The worse thing you can do is give up. This gives them the power and taking medicine in the future will just get harder and harder.
Sometimes it’s not an easy job, but I promise you can get any child to take their medicine with these techniques.
Hold them tight
Sometimes its all about how you hold your child. The key is to have control of their arms (they like to hit or push the medicine away) and their head (thrashing from side to side is how they avoid getting that medicine in their mouths).
For young kids, give them a big bear hug. Have them sit on your lap facing away from you, with one arm around their chest and arms. Your other arm holds the side of their head against your chest. This stabilizes their head and secures their arms.
You’ll need a second adult to administer the medicine. If you don’t have another adult, try wrapping them in a blanket, burrito-style with their arms at their side.
Arms above head
Another great technique is the arms above the head move. Lay them down and raise both of the Childs arms above their head. Make sure their elbows are touching their ears, to really keep the head stabilized. This mouth keeps their hands out of the way AND prevents the head from thrashing side to side.
Keep their mouth closed
Using a syringe is also the best for kids who don’t want to take their medicine. Use the syringe to drip the medicine on the side of their cheek, away from their tongue. This will prevent then from spitting it out at you.
Once the medicine is in their mouth, quickly close the mouth by holding the bottom of their chin up. By placing your hand on their chin and pushing up, this prevents their jaw from opening. Keep it closed long enough for them to swallow.
Don’t worry about them not breathing, They can breathe their nose! And if their nose is stuffy, it will force them to swallow so they can take a breath with their mouth.
Blow in their face
This really works best for kids two and under. Blowing in their face give them a natural response to swallow. So get the medicine in the side of their mouth by the check, close their mouth tight, and give a quick but forceful blow in their face.
Get your kids to take their medicine
The key to remember when getting kids to take medicine is that it just HAS to get done. There is no option. Sometimes it might be tough and messy, but you are the parent and you are the one in charge.
Be direct and be honest with kids. And always praise them for a job well done once they take their medicine. Even if they kicked and screamed the whole time, they are more likely to do it in the future if they get rewarded for good behavior.
You might also be interested in:
- 21 Incredibly Helpful Newborn Hacks For New Moms
- What To Do When Your Child Has a Fever
- First Time Mom Tips I Wish I Knew Sooner
- Magic Steps to Calm Any Child’s Temper Tantrum