The frustration of trying to get a finicky kid to take their medicine is something that most parents can relate to. On top of dealing with a screaming child, you may be worried about what could happen to their health if you can’t get the medicine to go down. It is also hard as a parent to know that your child’s resistance is valid since you know that the treatment may taste bad or be uncomfortable. When you have no option but to make your child take their medicine, you can use these tips to make the whole process easier.
Explain the Importance
Your child might not understand how serious it is to take their medicine. While you don’t want to scare them, you can use age-appropriate language to explain the consequences of refusing to take it. For instance, you could let them know that it might take longer for them to be able to swim again if you don’t get that ear infection cleared up. Using logic and reason can sometimes help kids see the benefits of dealing with the temporary discomfort.
Hand It Off to a Professional
Power struggles are real. If your child is also finicky with other things such as food, then this could be one of those times where they are just trying to say no to you. They may also pick up on your hesitance to perform certain types of treatments such as applying medication to your child’s eyes. For these situations, it is better to hand the duty over to someone else. For medications that need to only be administered once, you could have their doctor at a hospital or eye treatment center like Davies Eye Center give them the medication.
Ask for a Different Form
Some kids just aren’t ready to swallow pills. Others may immediately gag at a bad taste. Many medications are available in several different forms. If your pre-teen won’t take a spoonful of a liquid medication, then they may be ready to try taking a pill. In the worst case scenario, antibiotics may be delivered with an injection. Trying different forms can help you land on one that your child accepts better than others.
Check into Flavoring Options
Liquid medicines might be eligible for special flavorings to make them taste better. You can ask your pharmacist about this option. Pills and liquids that can be taken with food might also have their taste masked by adding them to ice cream or flavored syrup. Just make sure that you can tell if your child got their whole dose.
Giving your child medicine should not end up with both of you in tears. You also want to avoid having to lie to your child since this could only make them more resistant to medicine in the future. Stay patient as you use these strategies, and remember that this phase won’t last forever. In fact, you should soon find that your child takes their medicine like a pro.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan