How To Get Your Child To Take Medications They Hate

30 June 2016
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Getting a young child to take medicine is often an uphill task for many parents. Shouting at a child for refusing to take medicine often gives the child another reason to refuse their medication.

You need to develop safe and practical "tricks" that will get your child to take their medicines. This article discusses three things that you can do if your child has a well-established hate for medication.

Feed The Meds To The Child

One of the best ways to manipulate a child into taking medication is to mix the medicine with their favorite dish. You can crush a tablet, or you can open up a capsule and add its contents into your child's food. This way, the child might not even notice that they've taken their meds.

One thing you need to remember before you resort to this "trick" is that certain types of medicines may become less effective when crushed or when they're mixed with highly acidic food components. For example, penicillin G is known to be acid-sensitive. If mixed with acidic drinks such as apple juice, the chemical reaction that follows is likely to degrade the medicine, thereby making it less potent. It's a good idea to seek your doctor's opinion before you resort to "feeding" children with medicine.

Use Chocolate Syrup

One of the main reasons why children refuse medication is that they don't like the bitter taste of some tablets, capsules or syrups. Unfortunately, the bitter taste in these medicines often comes from the active ingredient in the tablet or capsule.

You can disguise the bitter taste by coating the spoon with a layer of chocolate syrup before you pour liquid medicine on the spoon. If you're administering tablets or capsules, give the child a spoonful of the syrup after they swallow the medicine to get rid of the bitter after-taste.

Consider Compounded Medicine

You might not always be around to lace your child's food with crushed tablets/pills, and you may not want your child to develop a "sweet tooth" by getting them accustomed to chocolate syrup at an early age.

You can talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting compounded medicines for the stubborn child. Compounded medicines are custom-made versions of medicines that are commercially available.

Different ingredients that your child needs for their treatment are combined (or compounded) to form a tablet, pill, cream, gel or syrup. Compounded medicines can have different flavors (e.g. bubblegum, chocolate and banana) that disguise the bitterness of the active ingredients.

Additionally, if your child is allergic to some of the ingredients used in commercially available drugs, these ingredients can be left out when the medication is being compounded. For more information, contact compounding services in your area.