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How to get your child to take medicine? 9 clever tips on how to make the medicine go down.

09/01/2019

How to give medicine to children

Children are often an easy target for viruses and bacteria because their immune system is not yet fully developed.

Most parents will agree that nurseries and school are breeding grounds for coughs and colds. This happens above all in winter when children are forced to stay indoors, often in overheated rooms with lots of other children.

One way to stop your children getting sick is to disinfect toys and get them to wash their hands often.

What happens if your child does get sick? Here's what to do!

Every child will need to take medicine at some point during childhood ......and this can be a worry at times! Children associate medicines with anxiety and something that tastes horrid. So we need to reassure them and try to make them feel comfortable with the idea of taking medicine; an impossible task you say?!
Here are tips on how to make taking medicine a little bit easier.

9 clever ways to get your child to take medicine

1.    It’s not only you who decides, so ask them and talk to them!

The fundamental thing is to make the child participate in what is about to happen. So take your time, sit down next to him on the couch or while he's playing and talk about it. Appealing to kids' sense of reasoning can be a powerful too so what you say to them mustn’t make them feel more anxious! It often helps to make your child feel that he’s being “big” about taking his medicine. Giving your child a choice makes him feel older. But you must give him only one of two choices; don’t confuse him! Ask him then to choose this or that. An example could be "Do you want a strawberry or banana flavoured medicine? - Do you want the medicine in the red box or the blue box? ".

2.    Be honest!

Don't lie to your children. Don’t tell them their medicine is going to taste yummy if it's not! You can explain that the medicine is going to make them feel better, even if it doesn’t taste good and that way they will soon be back playing with their friends. Tell your children the truth—and that whatever prescription you are giving them will make their hurt go away. Otherwise, the next time they need to take medicine, they are going to make an even bigger fuss.

3.    Are your kids scared to take their medicine? Let them play doctor!

If your children have not often taken medicines and you want to calm them down, and perhaps even get a smile out of them, let them play doctor. Have your kid pretend to give a stuffed animal medicine before she takes hers. Give him a toy syringe and pills he can pretend to give you; this will help him get comfortable with taking medicine. Role-playing will make your child feel braver and less anxious the next time you have to take him to the doctor.

4.    Where and how to take medicine?

Making your child part of decision making processes is essential for his development, so let your child choose where and how he wants to take his medicine: standing up in his playroom, sitting down on the sofa or lying on his bed surrounded by his toys; it doesn’t matter where or how, the important thing is for him to feel safe and secure.

5.    Liquid medicines? Choose the “cocktail”!

Medication for toddlers and kids tends to be flavoured making it easier to accept, but not all medication tastes good. If you need to give your child a medicine that tastes horrid, try to disguise the taste with fruit juice, milk, soy or rice drinks.
Dose the medicine into glass with a measuring cup or a syringe, and then add your drink and shake, adding ice, which helps numb his taste buds so the medicine goes down smoothly.

6.    Solid medicines Here’s what to do!

"How do I get my child to take tablets?" Don’t panic! An easy way is to crush the tablet in a bowl adding yoghurt, ice cream or fruit purée. Mix everything up and then give him the bowl. You can also get your child prepare his own snack, getting him to add the medicine as though it were a special ingredient: that should make him feel like a proper little chef!

7.    Shots or suppositories? Try to distract your child!

What if you need to give your child a shot with one of those scary syringes? Try to be quick and sure! While you are giving him the shot, distract him by telling him a story or asking him questions; you need help here, someone to distract your child and while you give him his shot! Try not to make your child feel scared or anxious.

8.    Don’t get too many people involved!

To get your child to take medicines, he needs peace and quiet. After you have decided how and where, you now need to give him his medicine. Try not to involve too many people. It can be overwhelming having too many family members trying to persuade your child to take his medicine. A calm one-to-one approach is often more reassuring and effective.

9.    Establish a routine

Generally, your child will need to take the medicine for several days. So get your child used to a routine. Decide together when he wants to take his medicine. Whether it’s in the morning, at snack time or just before going to bed, try to give him his medicine at the same time.
If your child starts to get play up when it’s time to take his medicine, try to distract him and get him to calm down with a toy!


For any doubts you may have, remember that your child specialist is a friend, who is always there to give you advice and suggestions.

Getting your kids to take medicine is not always easy, but when you manage, we assure you will feel heroic about it!