If your child is sick, they may need to take a prescription or over-the-counter medicine. In either case, your child may refuse to take the medication due to the route of administration, taste, or other reasons. If you have a hard time giving a reluctant child medicine, there are several things you can do.
Method 1 of 2: Give a Liquid Medication
Step 1. Change the flavor
The pharmacist can add a flavor, such as chocolate, watermelon, cherry or another of your child's favorite flavors, to many medications in syrup form for a small additional cost.
This method can work even for over-the-counter medications that already have a particular flavor, if your child prefers another flavor
Step 2. Administer the medicine with a dropper or syringe
You don't need a prescription to get a needleless syringe from a pharmacy. Another option is to use an eyedropper. Place the child in a sitting position and insert the syringe or dropper with the appropriate dose into their mouth, between the teeth or gums. Press down on the applicator slowly to gently pour the drops onto the back of your tongue or cheek.
Don't use a spoon for this method. Also, avoid squirting the medicine down the back of your throat, as this could cause choking. Instead, try to squirt the medication on one side of your mouth
Step 3. Give smaller doses
Use the measuring cups or spoons commonly found in liquid medications to separate the doses and administer them over an extended period. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before trying this method. You need to give the full prescribed dose to treat the disease, but you can do it in small amounts and more often so your child doesn't have to take the medicine all at once.
- An example of this method would be the following: instead of giving 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the medicine every 12 hours, you can give 2 tablespoons (7.5 ml each) in a row at the indicated interval.
- Keep in mind that your child may think that this method prolongs the unpleasant experience of taking a medication, thus making the situation worse.
Step 4. Give the medicine along with a treat
Ask your doctor and pharmacist if the medicine can be given before eating or drinking. If the medicine can be given along with food, you could mix it with a cup of pudding, yogurt, or juice for the child to take. You can also give your child one of his favorite snacks or drinks, such as a bowl of ice cream, fruit, or yogurt, after giving the medicine. Tell him from the start that you will give him this award if he takes the medicine.
- If you mix your child's medicine with food or drink, make sure your child eats it all.
- If the medicine cannot be mixed with food or drink, ask your doctor and pharmacist how long to wait between taking the medicine and the next food or drink.
Step 5. Talk to your child
Present the medicine to him as something that will help him and ask him in what form (cup, syringe) and taste he would prefer it. This method will give your little one a slight sense of control over the situation.
Don't let your child control the conversation by saying he doesn't want to take the medicine. If it happens, you can redirect the topic by saying something like "You want to improve yourself so you can play with your friends, right?"
Step 6. Use force only as a last resort
If neither method works, you may need to apply some physical force. Usually you will need someone to help you. First, place the child on the lap of a person, who should hold him so that he is still and upright (not leaning back). The other person should use one hand to open the child's mouth (pull the jaw down) and the other hand to place the syringe between his teeth and administer the medicine to the back of the tongue. Make sure to keep his mouth closed until the medicine passes.
You can tell your child that they can cooperate next time if they don't want you to force them again. Also, consider giving positive reinforcement, such as a hug and a treat (yogurt, a movie, a sticker, among others)
Method 2 of 2: Give a medicine in pill form
Step 1. Place the pill or capsule in the back of your child's mouth
One method is to place the pill on the back of his tongue and have the little one drink water or one of his favorite beverages, such as fruit juice. Tell him to pass the juice quickly and focus solely on its flavor.
Keep your head straight or slightly tilted forward. You can also use a straw to make the process easier
Step 2. Split or pulverize the lozenge
This method allows you to divide the dose so that it is easier to pass. Use a knife or pill splitter to divide it into two or four pieces. You can also pulverize the lozenge between two spoons and mix it with a small amount of their favorite food that does not need to be chewed (eg ice cream, pudding, yogurt, etc.).
- It is easier to spray a tablet if you wet it with a drop or two of water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Do not try this method with an extended-release capsule or specially coated pill. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist if you have any questions.
Step 3. Empty an extended-release capsule
Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before doing so. The content of this type of medicine can be passed without chewing and it usually has a bitter taste, so it is better to mix it with some sweet food that the child likes (applesauce, yogurt or similar products).
This method can be messy and messy. Make sure you have a clean, dry work surface to put liquids on so you don't waste them
Step 4. If you have a slightly older child, teach him to take pills
Children 8 years and older who cannot or do not want to take pills can practice when they are not sick or upset. Provide a small piece of candy to suck on. Use a product that melts quickly to avoid the possibility of it getting stuck in your throat.
Go using bigger and bigger candies all the way to chocolate lentils, like M & Ms. If the candy is very sticky, you can apply a thin layer of butter
- If your child is resistant or has trouble with one type of medication, ask your doctor if there are any other forms. In addition to pills or liquids, there may also be chewable or soluble forms.
- Always talk to your doctor about your child's health care.
- Check with your pharmacist for more information on medications, their interactions with other medications, and their side effects.
- Get child-resistant caps put on the medicine bottles at the pharmacy.
- Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.
- Make sure that the content of the medicine bottles is indicated correctly on the label, and that it corresponds to what the doctor has prescribed.
- Many of the over-the-counter medicines are very strong for children. Make sure to check out the specific dosages for children.
- Using force to administer medication to a child should be only a last resort. It may be best to call your doctor before doing so.
- Never change a drug, dose, or route of administration without first discussing it with your doctor and pharmacist.