If having a sick kid is not enough, it’s giving them the medicine to make them feel better that sometimes is the worst mamachallenge. When my oldest was born, we had all kinds of meds to give him and most the time he was a trooper. But when he decided he was NOT going to take it, I’d end up with more of the expensive stuff on my shirt than in him. (And that pink crap doesn’t look good on me or the rest of my kitchen.)
So after years of practice with two kids and lots of great advice from other parents, here are five ways to make giving kids medicine easier.
1.Change Up How You Give It
There’s a reason that your medicine may have a dropper and a measured spoon when you finally get to the front of the line in the drive thru to pick it up from the pharmacy. Different strokes for different folks and with medicine that’s definitely the case. For my son, he’s a big fan of the dropper, while my daughter prefers to take hers with the measured cup. Some pills can also be crushed or chopped up to make it easier to take, so just make sure to ask your doctor and/or pharmacist before deciding to sprinkle the pill on their breakfast. That pill may need to be whole, chewed or directly swallowed. And definitely see if you should or shouldn’t have a drink before or after taking. Some meds are water only so don’t tell the kid to batten down the hatches with a glass of milk or juice until you know it’s safe.
2. Change the Flavor
The flavor of medicine can make a huge difference and it’s so easy to do! When your doctor sends of the prescription to your pharmacy, ask your pharmacy for FLAVORx. With 15 flavors to choose from, one of them is bound to be the “sugar that helps the medicine go down.” However, FLAVORx is sugar free, dye free, casein free and gluten free! You can find FLAVORx products in 45,000 pharmacies including Wal-Mart (which is $1.88 vs. 2.99 at other places), Target, Walgreens, and CVS. And you can even download the FLAVORx app for iPhone to find out if your pharmacy carries the product and what flavors are recommended for a specific medicine. Wanna learn more about FLAVORx, check out this video how it works.
3. Go Around It
This technique takes a little work from you, but it can be successful for some kids. If the taste or feel of the medicine is just too much for your tot to bare, then use a dropper to slowly let the medicine slide down the back of their throat by placing it towards the side of the tongue. This secret gets better with time (believe me), but you just need to have a kiddo that can sit still for about two seconds why you do it and will swallow it immediately. When kids are sick this one seems to work better since they are much more lethargic than a regular med and they know what’s coming. Again, each method is going to be different based on your kid and experience.
4. Let them Do It
Role playing can go a long way with children to help them understand what is happening and why. Using a doll or stuffed animal (preferably one you don’t mind getting wet), let your kid give medicine (I use water for these scenarios) to their doll and how it will make their doll feel better. Many times just going through the practice helps them to see that it won’t hurt their doll or them. This method is great for the first time you give medicine to help alleviate any fears they may have and allow you to talk about the medicine, their illness and how it’s going to make them feel better.
This trick isn’t as 007 as you think, but more about getting your child in a state that isn’t anxious, scared or bouncing off the walls. While having the medicine handy (like already in the dropper, cup or nearby with a glass of water), just play with your child without any news of medicine. Let them be in a state of happiness and in their own element. After a little while when you’ve been playing, then just say or ask your child to give them the medicine. Because they haven’t had the built-up anxiety of medicine time and they’ve been doing something they like to do, the administering portion of your day just kinda slides into playing Barbies or creating a new LEGO car with no problems. The secret here is to be quick and then go back to playing so they see medicine taking isn’t a big deal and just part of the day.
Here’s to hoping it gets better and they feel better!