Doctors and parents both have problems with getting a child taking medicine. Dr. Hands gives 9 tips on how to solve this situation.
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How to Get a Child to Take Medicine All doctors and parents have the same frustration when this happens. We diagnose the problem, we choose the right medicine and we can solve the child’s problems. There is only one problem. The child won’t accept the medications that we’re giving. So we need some tips on how to get medicines in the child. We’ll give you nine tips on taking medication that may be helpful into all of you and therefore solve this very difficult and somewhat frustrating situation. We often recommend number one, ice pops for the baby to suck or the infant to suck to both numb the mouth and to change the taste before getting a medication. We found this helpful. Number two, we often mix the drug with sweet tasting substances. I'm sure all you mothers have tried this. Number three is the chaser idea. You chase it with juice, soft drinks, flavored ice pops, frozen juice bars. Number four is a carbonated beverage often poured over fine, crushed ice will correct any nausea that’s associated with taking the medicine and we give this often before, they then receive the medicine and it also can be given after a medication if the child seems to be nauseated and might throw up. Sometimes pinching the nose simply to block off the sense of smell will allow the child to drink the medicine better because a lot of our taste depends on our sense of smell. There are many times drugs can be prepared by the pharmacists in multiple ways that it tastes better such as chewable flavored lozenges and this can be investigated. Little babies often can suck right out of a type of syringe or dropper in very small increments or use a nipple or pacifier with a reservoir in it. That can be helpful. I have now two final tips on the most problematic of all medicine difficulties, getting the child to take a pill. This comes up literally every single day in clinical practice. The most successful way that I have seen to get a child to take the pill is by passive ingestion. What we have them do is put a pill in their mouth. They then put a straw in a drink of their choice. Let’s say a soft drink. By sucking on the straw they passively create a negative pressure phenomenon and the pill pops down without having to be washed down, therefore bouncing around in the back of their throat and producing choking and avoiding pill taking. So pill with a straw in a drink takes care of this with a passive swallowing of the pill. The second method is called the leaning forward method, not the leaning back method. When people put a pill in their mouth and they lean back, the pill actually drops to the top part of the throat hitting against the soft palate. This has a tendency to choke the patient and is unsuccessful. If the patient leans forward after they put the pill in their mouth, it actually goes behind the tongue, falls down posterior and is more easily swallowed down without any interference.