Medicines: Helping Children Swallow
At one time or another, almost every child will refuse to take a pill or swig of medicinal syrup. Here are some tips to help the medicine go down:
- Be honest. Do not tell your child that the medicine is candy (he might suddenly crave a handful). Instead, explain that the medicine is very important and that you will find some way to help him to take it.
- If liquids are the only option, a dropper or a plastic syringe might work better than a spoon. Most of your child's taste buds are on the tip and center of his tongue, so aim for the back of the mouth.
- Proceed with confidence. If you act like you're expecting trouble, your child just might oblige.
- Many children loath medicinal syrups, even those that come in sweet flavors. See if the same medication is available in a pill.
- If your child doesn't object to the concept of pills but can't stand the taste, give him capsules or sugarcoated pills when they're available.
- Finally, don't forget the value of a good bargain. Offer to play a game or read a story after he takes his medicine.
American Academy of Family Physicians, FamilyDoctor.org. How to Give Your Child Medicine. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/children/parents/safety/097.html
American Academy of Pediatrics. Parenting Corner Q&A: Medicine. March 2007. http://www.aap.org/publiced/BR_Medicine.htm