5 Tips to Get Your Child to Take Medicine

As most parents know, kids are picky and won't always eat or drink everything you give them. Not only does this make dinnertime difficult, but it can cause problems when administering medicine. If your child doesn't like the taste or consistency, he or she may refrain from taking it. So, what steps can you take to encourage your child to take his or her medicine?

#1) Add It to Food

Consider adding your child's medicine to food. As long as it's not time released, you can usually crush up pills and mix the powder into foods such as applesauce or yogurt. The sugar and natural flavors of the food will mask the medicine's otherwise bitter flavor. Alternatively, you can mix liquid medicine in fruit juice. Just remember to check with your child's primary care physician beforehand to ensure it's safe.

#2) Maintain a Positive Attitude

It's important that you maintain a positive attitude when administering medicine to your child. It's easy for parents to lose their temper when their child rejects much-needed medicine. When this occurs, however, it will further discourage your child from taking his or her medicine. Maintain a positive attitude by joking and playing your child. If you make the process fun, your child may willingly take the medicine.

#3) Flavoring Additives

You can make certain types of medicine more appealing to children using flavoring additives. Juices are always an excellent flavoring additive for kid's medicine. By mixing the medicine with a sweet fruit juice, your child is more likely to take it. There are even special flavoring drops you can buy for this purpose. Many pharmacies will also offer flavoring options for many liquid medications for a small fee.

#4) Ask For Input

If your child doesn't want to take his or her medicine, talk to them so that you can gain a better understanding of the problem. Maybe your child doesn't like the bitter flavor, or perhaps the pill is too big for them to easily swallow. Once you've identified why your child doesn't want to take it, you can take steps to address the problem. If the medicine is bitter, you can add flavoring. If a pill is too big, you can talk to your pharmacist about getting a smaller, more child-friendly size.

#5) Get It Compounded

Consider getting your child's medicine compounded at a compounding pharmacy like CareFirst Specialty Pharmacy. This involves simple changes like adding a flavor or other ingredients like sweeteners or something to mask the bitterness so that it's more appealing to children. If your child needs to take cough syrup, for instance, a licensed pharmacist may be able to add cherry or grape flavoring to it make more palatable. Compounding can even turn pills into a tasty liquid medicine. Medications can also be made into gummies, chewable tablets, and even lollipops to make medication easier to give. In some cases, multiple medications can be combined into one so it is easier for both the child and parent. If you are looking for options, speak to a compounding pharmacist for possibilities for your child’s medication.

Regardless of which method you use, be sure to reward your child for taking his or her medicine. Whether it's a free movie rental, playtime at the park or an ice cream treat, rewards turn medicine-taking into a positive experience. And that can help you administer medicine more easily the next time your child needs it.