We all know medications that make us grimace! Even as adults we don’t like to take them. So if we avoid them, imagine children! But despite their terrible flavor we cannot avoid them. Sometimes they are necessary for our health. Here we will talk about our favorite tips to help make this moment a little less stressful.
• Begin by telling your child you love him very much and that you’re giving this medication to make him feel good. Explain in simple terms why medicines are important and how they destroy viruses that make us sick and feel bad. Recognize that you know they don’t taste very good and that you understand him.
• Give your child a popsicle to numb his mouth, and provide a good taste in his mouth. He can taste the popsicle, take the medicine and keep enjoying the popsicle afterwards.
• Store the medication in the fridge to administer the medicine cold; it helps to reduce some of its bad taste.
• You can channel your inner Mary Poppins and give him a spoonful of sugar after the medication or with the medication.
• Sit with your little one, caress him and give him the medicine slowly.
• If your child needs to chew a pill you can crush it and give it to him on a spoon with ice cream, chocolate syrup, honey or maple syrup or any other food that doesn’t require chewing. It’s recommended to give a few tablespoons of the food on its own, and tell your little one to pass it without chewing, and so he will have sufficient practice for when you give him the spoonful with medicine.
• Give him a sweet after the medicine to reduce the aftertaste.
• Prepare a glass of milk, chocolate milk, juice or any drink he likes; he can take it right after the medicine.
• You can choose to give the medicine slowly in a syringe instead of a spoon. This way you can see which way he prefers to take it. If you put the syringe to the bottom of his cheek, he may swallow the medicine more easily. Try to avoid ejecting the medicine at the back of his throat to prevent nausea or suffocation.
Remember that it’s sometimes difficult to take medication. Sometimes, despite all attempts, young children don’t want to take it. If this is the case, don’t forget to show empathy. Tell your child that you understand him and apologize for the bad taste. Don’t try to trick him or become frustrated, instead use love, and praise his courage. Explain the reason why he has to take his medicine, and acknowledge his effort to take bad tasting medications. If your child still resists, you’ll have to give the medication by opening his mouth and inserting medicine gently, pointing the liquid to the cheek and not directly to his throat to avoid choking. Don’t forget that you can stir it with something sweet or a stronger taste to disguise its bad taste and apologize at the end. Finally, do not forget to contact your doctor if you need further help, he can help you identify what is best for your child.