14 ideas for getting the medicine inside your unwilling child.
Baby Refuses to Take Medicine
After a string of ear, nose, and throat infections, 3-year-old Shana had developed rather a talent for refusing to take her medication. “She turns her head, runs away, and performs a whole-body wiggle dance simply to make sure not a drop of it enters her mouth. She has even made herself throw up when she sees it coming,” says her mom, Julia Jaman of Brooklyn, New york city.
Noise familiar? Getting kids to take their medicine is no small job, especially when you’re faced with a balky, feverish toddler. According to a survey by the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 25 percent of pediatricians reported that their patients frequently fail to take medication as recommended. The leading reasons for noncompliance include too many doses and unpleasant taste.
A parent’s initial step ought to always be to consider whether the medicine is genuinely essential. “Over the counter cold, cough, and influenza treatments will not do anything to cure or reduce the duration of the illness,” says Michael K. Levine, MD, a pediatrician in Atlanta. In addition, some symptoms are actually advantageous. “A cough is productive because it’s working the mucus and bacteria out,” says Dr. Levine. “Permit the child to cough it out during the day, and give her medication only at night so she can rest.”
Naturally, some things, like taking an antibiotic prescription, are merely not negotiable. Nevertheless, you don’t need to resort to tackling your child and force-feeding. Attempt these proven– yet kind and gentle– methods to get the medication down.
Tricks for Babies
Turn yucky into yummy. A quick repair for a prescription is to ask the pharmacist to add a flavor enhancer called FLAVORx. This system features 42 various tastes, such as bubble gum and candy walking cane, and adds about $3 to the cost of the medicine. To discover a drug store near you that uses it. Likewise, inform your pediatrician about any antibiotic your child didn’t like, so she may recommend another one the next time.
Squirt it. Utilizing an oral syringe, which offers you more control than a medication dropper, is most likely the best way to provide an infant medication. “Go for the within the cheek rather than the back of the mouth, which may cause gagging and coughing,” states John B. Roth, MD, a medical professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. “You need not give the whole dose in one shot. Attempt half at a time.”
Use a sucker. Fill a bottle nipple with medication and have your baby suck it like a pacifier, suggests Kathy Barnes of Des Moines, who discovered that this worked for her 9-month-old, Aileen. “By the time she realizes what it is, it’s down the hatch,” says Barnes. “We then add a bit of water to flush it all down.” You can also buy a pacifier medication dispenser in stores.
Search for, baby. Sit your child in an upright position, such as in the high chair or Exersaucer, or propped up on a Boppy, and get her to look up by hanging a toy over her head, suggests Jana Del Valle of Kansas City, Missouri, who does this with 8-month-old Morgan. “While she’s hectic inspecting the toy, her mouth opens a little and I can get the dropper in. It’s sly however it works.”
Swaddle him. Wrap your baby in a blanket like a newborn to keep his flailing hands from batting the medicine away, states Margaret Peele of Stoneville, North Carolina, mama of Xavier, 10 months. “I likewise blow on his face after giving him the medicine, which triggers him to swallow [due to a reflex]”.
Have a cheerful delivery. Offer baby his medicine with smiles and a positive tone. “When I need to offer my 9-month-old, Xander, medication, I act like it’s delicious– he usually desires what I have– and he consumes it right away,” says Amie Velazquez of Goose Creek, South Carolina. Shannan Kiger of Plainfield, Illinois, agrees: “We say the word ‘medicine’ with the very same excitement that we say ‘cookies’ or ‘chocolate.'”.
Chill it. Some medicines require refrigeration. Even if yours does not, check with the pharmacist as to whether it’s fine to put it in the refrigerator. The taste is generally not as strong if the medication is cold. Numbing your child’s tongue with an ice pop first also assists eliminate the taste, says Danielle Gebeyehu of London, Ontario, mother of Bayden, 4, and Ashton, 3 months. Ice pops also make a good after-medicine treat and can cool a feverish child.
Tips for Toddlers
Keep ’em chuckling. Get children to laugh as tough as they can. Then when they’re off guard, in the medicine goes, states Cheryl Boone of Astoria, New York, who used this technique with her two children. “You must keep them chuckling after the huge swallow, too. Don’t miss a beat or you’re captured!”.
Hide it in food or drink. Chocolate syrup readies at masking bad tastes, states Ari Brown, MD, coauthor of Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Guidance for Your Baby’s First Year (Windsor Peak Press). “Mix the medication with just a teaspoon of chocolate. It resembles a spoonful of sugar, however goes down more quickly.” Keep in mind: Don’t use this for babies younger than 6 months, and prevent honey (it can cause botulism poisoning in kids under age 1) and peanut butter (it’s highly allergenic) entirely.
Likewise, consult your doctor or the pharmacist’s handout about whether a medication can be taken with food. Other favorite mixers include applesauce, pudding, gelatin, juice, and milk. Once again, the key with this technique is to use simply a small amount– state, a spoonful of food or just an ounce of liquid– because the child must eat or drink all of it, says Dr. Roth. For babies, mix the medicine with formula or breast milk just as a last hope. They often find the medicine and might decline their next bottle or nursing.
Give your child some control. “Kids ages 2 to 3 definitely wish to supervise,” states Dr. Brown. “For them, the problem may be that they want to hold the spoon themselves.” Provide choices, however the option cannot be to give up the medication. For instance, ask: Would you like to use a spoon or a cup? Do you want to take the medicine before you play a game or read a book? Enabling Hunter, 2 1/2, to select where to take his medicine and with whom worked like a charm for a recent antibiotic, states Shannan Kiger. “He picked a favorite living room chair and Granddad’s lap, and consumed everything up.”.
Feed a pal first. “My child was given a stuffed dog when he had ear tube surgery in 2015 and the nurses would take the blood pressure and temperature of the dog first,” states Carrie Moore of Lake City, Florida, and mother of Phillip, 2. “So at home I give Ruff the medication first, and then Phillip will take it.”.
Attempt a various type. In addition to liquids, medications can be found in a range of forms such as chewables and tablets. Maybe you’ll have better success with among these. “A 2-year-old may be able to handle a chewable, supplied she can talk a little and understand some instructions. Parents must monitor the chewing and swallowing,” says Dr. Roth. “Much better still are the ‘quick-dissolve’ tablets. Once saliva hits them, they’re gone.” Another idea Dr. Brown employs is to recommend the adult tablets that the pharmacist cuts in half. “Parents can crush these and then blend them with a little ice cream.”
Offer a reward. “I’m not above bribery when your child is sick– since it’s a temporary thing,” says Dr. Levine. You can give her a bit of sweet, a juice or soda chaser, or let her watch a video. Of course, do not go overboard with goodies for each dosage, states Dr. Brown: “With an antibiotic, you’re speaking about 20 dosages.” Some extra TLC from you, checking out a story, or playing a game together might be a much better benefit. Heather Satlof of Avon, Connecticut, lets her daughter Lilli use a princess crown when she needs to take medicine: “She likes the royal treatment.”
Acknowledge that it tastes bad, however will make them feel better. Sometimes the best policy is to inform the reality– you cannot declare it’s not yucky when you’re going to be shown incorrect in a second. “We sit my 2-year-old, Andrew, on the counter and put the medicine in a big-boy spoon. We inform him that the magic medicine will make him feel better,” says Tanya Rathbun of Wappingers Falls, New York. Similarly, Myriam Ward of Apple Valley, California, says her 16-month-old, Emily, cried if they aimed to force-feed her medication. “The best service was to show the medication to her and talk her through it,” she says. “We let her know she’s doing a fantastic job.”