Medicine time usually isn’t fun time for parents and children. Here are a few tips to get everybody manage the experience.
Don’t get frustrated
If this becomes a battleground it’s only going to be more difficult. Your child isn’t doing this to make life hard for you. They’re genuinely afraid or uncomfortable, and it’s best to address the fear or discomfort.
Doctor and pharmacy suggestions to improve the experience
- Flavored pills are available for many medicines. A product, FlavoRX, can be added to improve taste. Ask about these options.
- Some medications taste better than their equivalents or need to be taken less often. Check with your doctor on these.
- In some cases, medicine can be added to food.
- Coating a spoon in chocolate syrup before feeding the medicine in it can disguise the taste.
- Avoid the taste. You can put liquid medication in the child’s mouth with a dropper, then stroke the chin or blow in the face to get the child to swallow without much tasting.
Dealing with the fear
- Give the child some measure of control. Explain why the medication is necessary. Give the child some leeway in choosing the exact time.
- Role play. Have the child pretend to give medicine to a doll or stuffed animal.
- Sometimes the size of a pill is a problem and the child may be afraid they can’t swallow it. Have them practice by swallowing a piece of candy. Even a four-year-old can be taught to do this.
Give a reward
Praise is good, but a privilege or a sticker to put in a book or on the calendar may be even better. Do what you can to make this a team effort and everyone will get through this.