Kids often do not like taking medication, but sometimes they need to take a prescription or a pain reliever. So, what can you do to make it easier to give medications to kids? Try the following:
1. Make sure that it tastes good. Often medication simply does not taste very good, and thus they won’t want to eat it. However, there are ways to help your child better tolerate the taste.
For example, you can choose a flavoring that appeals to your child. Most medication comes in a variety of children friendly flavors, such as cherry, grape, bubblegum, etc. If no flavorings appeal to your child, then find other ways to help reduce the bad tasting medicine. For example, you can have them plug their nose while they take it, or follow it up with a glass of juice, or something they do like the taste of.
Try numbing the taste buds with a frozen treat.
Another great trick for reducing the foul taste of a medication is to have the child sucks on an ice cube for a minute or two before taking medicine. It will help to tone down or numb the taste buds so that they do not taste as bad.
If the medication allows for it, one way to make it taste better is to mix it with something your child does like, such as yogurt, a smoothie, a sippy cup full of a drink they like, etc.
2. Try to help the child understand why they should take medication. Many parents try to trick their child into taking medicine, or tell them it is candy or something like it, however, when the child finds out that it is not, they will suppose they should dislike it, and this is why you tricked them. So, instead, explain to them the benefits of taking medication, and that they will feel far better if they take some then if they don’t. This will encourage them to take medication, and keep you from having to lie to your child.
3. Give your child a chance to have some choice. You want to make sure that your child does not feel forced or that their control is being taken from them. By giving them a chance to make some choice when it comes to their medication, they will be more likely to take it. Of course, make sure that the chocies you give them are minor, as you do not want your child to determine how much to take etc. Instead, offer them choices such as, “When would you like to take your medicine? Before you eat, or after?” Or give them a choice like, “Which flavor of medicine would you like to take today? Strawberry? Cherry? Bubblegum?” This allows them some control, or at least the semblance of it, so that they do not feel so inclined to rebel in the situation.