How to Give Your Child Medicine
If medicine has been prescribed or recommended for your child, it is important for him or her to take it according to the instructions provided by a physician or the drug facts label (for over-the-counter medications). However, as many parents are aware, the process can sometimes be a challenge. Any child who isn’t feeling well can be highly emotional and resistant to even very simple requests. Plus, many drugs are bitter or unpleasant tasting, even with special flavorings added, and this can make the task even more difficult.
To help ensure that your child gets the medicine he or she needs, here are some general tips:
- Explain to your child how the medicine basically works, and the consequences of not taking it. For instance, you could say, “You didn’t wake up in the middle of the night last night because the medicine helped you stop coughing.”
- Avoid placing medicine near the back of your child’s tongue, where the taste buds are located. Instead, dispense the medicine into the child’s cheek pouch.
- Ask a physician about ways to make the medicine taste better, look more appealing, or go down easier, such as mixing it with food or juice, adding food coloring, or breaking it up. But, you should never suggest to your child that medicine is a treat, or store it within your child’s sight or reach.
- Offer simple choices to provide your child with a sense of control over the situation. You might ask, “Would you like to take your medicine before or after you get dressed?” If possible, allow the child to hold the dispenser and take the medicine while you supervise.
- Try to add an element of fun to the process. Your child could select a colorful sticker to place on a calendar and mark his or her progress after taking each dose.
- If your child is extremely resistant, don’t force him or her. Instead, suggest a short break. A quick hug or sip of water may be all that your child needs to regroup mentally and carry on. However, if this fails, call a doctor for further advice.
If you have questions about giving your child medicine, you can speak with a doctor at South Tampa Immediate Care. No appointments are necessary at our walk-in clinic, where you will be seen by a doctor who is experienced in diagnosing and treating a variety of common health conditions.