There are some things that you are never told you will have to do once you become a parent. One of them is that you will have to hold down and force medicine down your child’s throat, because they don’t want to take it. Luckily, I’ve gathered some tips on how to get children to take their medicine, even if they hate taking medicine.
As we approach the “cold season,” which is generally considered to start in September and last until April, the same time span our children may be in school, it is important to know how to help our children avoid and treat the common cold symptoms.
Colds are annoying in how adaptable they are. In fact, school aged kid can pick up eight to twelve different colds a year, which will last anywhere from six days to two weeks and will account for approximately 22 million missed days of school and 20 million absences from work (including time caring for sick children). And will also create lots of stress, mounds of tissues, lots of annoying late night coughing, which will keep at least one person awake, and time kept from fun events and places.
So, preventing catching a cold (which I will be writing about soon), and treating it once you get one (because it is inevitable) are things you need to know, especially for your children who are often more exposed to germs and have a harder time fighting with the limited cough and cold medicine available to them.
Getting Children to Take Their Medicine
One stealth-mode method of getting children to take their medicine it to try mixing the medicine in with a favorite soft food or drink. This works best with a small amount of food or drink so that you can insure the child gets the proper dosage all down. However, it may make it taste funny to them. But, it may be worth a try, especially if it means less fighting and less tears.
Another tactic is bribery. You can offer your child a chocolate chip (just the chip, not the whole cookie, well, unless you have a cookie: totally up to you) or some other treat or reward if they calmly, cheerfully, let you administer their medicine to them.
I also like to emphasize the purpose for giving them medicine – it will help them feel better. I talk about how they have a cold, or a fever, or a runny nose, or a sore throat, and explain that the medicine will help them get better quicker, and help them sleep through the night (if given at bedtime). I think it definitely can make a difference.
It’s also a good idea to make the medicine-giving part of a routine. Maybe you give it to them after lunch, before or after bedtime or naps, first thing in the morning, etc. If your child knows it is coming, it can help them expect it and not fear it.
Get Better Tasting Medicine
Even with the above tips, it can be a challenge to give children over-the-counter liquid cough and cold medicine. In a new national survey of U.S. parents of school-aged children (4-13), 40% said it wasn’t always easy, and a third of the parents believe the taste of the medicine impacts how easy it is to administer.
That’s why it’s smart to check out the new Dr. Cocoa for Children line of cough and cold medicines.
Dr. Cocoa products are the first-ever cough and cold medicine for children with patented formulas combining trusted, effective ingredients with 10% real cocoa for a great real chocolate taste to make giving medicine to kids easier. It triggers a smile, instead of a struggle.
My daughters have had a cold in the last few weeks, not surprising, and they have loved taking the Dr. Cocoa medicine, licking the spoon clean, getting every last amount of the dosage they are supposed to have. https://youtu.be/V9p9WvpZY68
And it really does help them feel better. This is especially true for my daughter Lisa, who when she has a cough, gets up a few times during the night, coughing and wheezing, if she doesn’t take cough medicine before bed. Kids like the rich, chocolate taste, and parents love the relief Dr. Cocoa provides.
Dr. Cocoa products are available nationwide in stores, as well as online. For more information, including where you can buy some, visit their website. While you are there, print off a $4 off coupon. Be sure to check out their Facebook page too.
Getting Babies and Toddlers to Take Their Medicine
Since my children are young, let me share some tips on getting babies and toddlers their medicine as well.
First, it’s helpful to make it a family affair, and get your spouse involved in the process. One can cradle the young child in their arms, firmly keeping the head still against their chest, and the arms pinned at the sides, while the other can shoot some medicine from the medicine dropper in their mouth.
It is helpful when shooting the medicine from the syringe in the mouth, to angle it at their cheek (as opposed to the center of their mouth), and just a little at a time, until you hear them swallow, and then give them a little more. It helps prevent their tongue from blocking it, and it dribbling down their face.
After the medicine is gone, it’s helpful to wipe off their face and hands with a wet cloth or wipe, and give them lots of snuggles.
I recommend checking out my previous post for more tips on how to care for sick babies and toddlers. However, many of the tips I mentioned before – having a routine for giving medicine, sneaking it in food or drinks, bribery, and explaining the reasoning, are all very good methods for young children too. It just not might be as easy for them to understand.
Now, tell me, what have you done to make giving kids medicine easier?
Visit www.drcocoa.com for a $4-off coupon offer.
This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. However, all opinions, text and experiences are my own.
Brenna @ Life After Laundry says
Great advice. I have had to fight with my son over nasal spray, so to get him to take it I let him do it himself. After that he was much more agreeable.
Chocolate medicine?! Why didn’t I think of that? My son was born with severe heart issues. We weren’t sure he would live too long. After he had his open heart surgery, when he was 3, he wouldn’t take his medicine. There was just so much of it and it was a fight every two hours. Finally I just told him that it was simple. If he didn’t take it, he would die. Simple as that. I’ve never, ever had a problem giving him medicine since. He is almost 23 now. He still isn’t a fan of medicine, but gets the benefit. Sometimes you just have to be straight with them.
We’ve had a ton of kids out sick the past few weeks. It’s been a rough start to winter already. I think buying a good flavor of medcine helps too. I always hated anything with grape flavor so that was the worst for me to take.
Wow, I didn’t realize kids got so many colds every year. Better-tasting medicine would be an easy fix!
Katelyn Fagan says
It really is a simple fix. Why not?
Vivian A. Baker says
I have to share this post with my sister. Her 3-year-old son always makes a problem when it comes to these things. This will be helpful.