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Clever Ways to Get Children to Take Medicine

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down… Well, not in my son’s case. My husband and I dread the flu season because getting the Little Man to take his medicine is an emotional and physical battle. We have tried so many tricks on him, but nothing seems to work. Do you struggle to get children to take medicine too? Oh yes, the struggle is very, very real.

Thanks to vaccines, our kids have not been sick for the longest time. A pretty strong virus might have made its way to our home, which is why both kids suddenly fell ill. Very ill that they had to miss school.

We usually let the colds run its course, but the one that they caught seemed to be a really bad one so we decided to take them to the doctor who prescribed three medicines for each kid. THREE! FOR ONE WEEK!

I sank in the chair at the doctor’s office when I saw how much the kids had to take because I know how difficult it is to get our boy to take his meds. True enough, our first day taking his medicines was a battle. I was lucky government work was suspended that day so my husband was around to help me hold down our son while I force the medicine into his mouth. But really, I hate forcing anything on them. Baka ma-trauma!

If you follow my page on Facebook, then you might have seen this post:

I was SUPER frustrated. I had to figure out a way to get my son to take his medicines without a big battle happening at home.

Then, I had a clever idea. Being an organizer, I always list down the medicines my children need to take together with information like the amount and the specific time they need to take each medicine. This helps me stay on track of who takes what at what time–especially if both kids are sick.

What I did was I took the list and put happy faces at the end of each day, like so:

How to get children to take medicine without a battle |

The deal: For every day they complete one medicine, they get a surprise egg from us OR they get 30 minutes on the iPad. If they complete the full course of all their medicines, we will take them to their favorite indoor playground.

Knowing my kids, these three excite them very much. It was no surprise that they became very willing to take medicines once the terms were set on the table!

In addition to our deal, I also relinquished control of administering their medicines. I allowed my kids to choose whether they want to take their medicine with a cup or a syringe. I also allowed them to take the medicine themselves after I prepare the amount they need to take.

Other Clever Ways to Get Children to Take Medicine

Remember the post I shared on Facebook? Some of moms and pops there shared their own tricks in helping the medicine go down for kids. Such as:

Use a dropper or syringe. We tried this on my son already. It worked when he was a little one, but now that he is bigger, it is harder to hold him down. If you have a younger child, this may work. Have your child sit on your lap in a slightly lying down position (but not totally lying down), hold both hands, then use the dropper or syringe to administer the medicine. Release the medicine on the side of his mouth and let it trickle down the throat. If the child won’t swallow, briefly pinch the nose so he will swallow.

Give something sweet after taking the medicine. Since not all medicines taste good, consider giving your child something sweet right after taking the medicine to mask the taste. Candy or a gummy bear will work.

Mix the medicine with food or drink. Please use this method with caution. Should you need to do this, ask your doctor first so you know if your child’s medicine is okay to mix with something.

Ask your doctor for help. The taste of certain brands may not sit well with some kids. I agree with this since I have asked my OB for a different brand of multivitamins before since I don’t like the taste of the first one I got. If your child won’t take his medicine, ask your doctor if there is an alternative brand he can take. Perhaps your child will like the other brand more. Also, ask your doctor for medicines with higher concentration so you can give less. You may also ask if there is a possibility to get chewables (if your child prefers that) or medicine in suppository form.

Do you have other clever ways to get children to take medicine?
Share it in the comments section below!

Kimberley Reyes

Kimberley Reyes is an Online Business Manager for entrepreneurs who are ready to get off the hamster wheel and step into their CEO shoes. On top of helping her clients get organized and scale their businesses, she is also happily busy raising her five kids with her firefighter husband.

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