Does your child refuse to take his or her medicine? You're not alone. Administering medicine is a common problem for many parents. It may not be that big of a deal if the child is battling a common cold. However, it can be a serious problem if the child has a chronic condition for which the medicine is absolutely necessary. As you probably know, kids can be stubborn when it comes to refusing medicine. Often, the younger they are, the more difficult the process is. While there may be no simple solutions, there are things you can do to make the medicine go down easier. Here are four common solutions:
Mix it with food. If the medicine is in the form of a pill, you may be able to crush it into a powder. You can then mix the powder with a little bit of food so that the taste of the medicine is disguised. You'll want to check with your doctor and pharmacist before you do this to make sure that the medicine has the same effect in powder form. Also, make sure you use as little food as possible. The food could dilute the medicine, so you want to be sure the child is getting mostly medicine and not food.
Set up a reward system. Kids often respond better to rewards than threats. They also may not fully understand the connection between their medicine and their health condition. However, by putting a reward system in place, you can make the medicine's benefits more obvious. Make a chart and put it someplace prominent, like on the refrigerator. Every time the child takes his or her medicine without protest, give them a sticker. After so many stickers, allow them to pick out a prize. After a certain period of time, taking the medicine will probably be second nature.
Use a syringe. If the medicine is a liquid, a syringe may be better than a cup or spoon. With a syringe, you can direct the medicine to a certain location in the mouth. One great place to insert medicine is in the cheeks. That way it avoids the taste buds and the child won't gag on it. Insert the medicine in pieces rather than all at once. That reduces the risk that your child will spit it out.
Ask your doctor to customize the medicine. Compounding pharmacies can make changes to lots of different kinds of medicines. For example, a compounding pharmacy could give the medicine a different flavor. It could also put the medicine in a different form if, say, your child prefers liquid to pills. The pharmacy may also be able to make the medicine more concentrated so your child has to take it less frequently.
Talk to your doctor about using a compounding pharmacy to make the medicine more tolerable. You can also call a compounding pharmacy (such as Potter's House Apothecary, Inc) directly and see what they recommend.