One of the peak struggles of nursing sick children is giving them yucky tasting medications. Together a pediatric nurse practitioner, ns no stranger to watching a fresh dose of medication acquire spit right back up. V sick babies, this situation can be extra difficult, due to the fact that they execute not recognize that the medication will actually deal with their pain. Unless you got extra lucky with a little one who loves taking their medicine (and those babies are out there!), then this short article is for you. I’ll start with a couple of ground rule for offering medicine to kids, and also then I have 10 hacking to assist you get youngsters to take medicine.

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Ground rules For giving Medicine come Kids…

1. Develop a non-negotiable medication policy in her house.

If mom or dad speak it’s time to take it medication, then it’s time to take her medication. Period. Ns watch means too many parents do the wrong of making medication sound optional to children. Medications deserve to be a life-saving intervention, and we have to teach youngsters this.

Don’t ask questions like, “Do you want to take your medication now?” Instead, give choices when you are able to, like, “Would you choose to have actually your medication combined with applesauce or yogurt now?”

I’ve watched strong willed toddlers end up in the hospital ~ above IV medicines just because parents wouldn’t make them take their medications. Trust me, injected medications, IV medications, and also hospital stays lead to a many unnecessary pain and heartache. This can be prevented if you start with a non-negotiable plan from the beginning.

2. “Can you just give my kid a shot rather of a fluid medication?

I listen this inquiry from parents rather frequently, and I know the very nice one of a one-and-done shot the is end is a couple of minutes matches a liquid medication that usually takes 2 doses because that 7-10 days. BUT, this truly no an alternative in most cases. Injectable medicines are usually reserved for use in youngsters when other medications have actually failed.

For example, Rocephin (Ceftriaxone) is a strong antibiotic generally used in youngsters when various other antibiotics (like Amoxicillin or Augmentin) i can not use worked. Because these injected medications deserve to be stronger than your liquid counterparts, they generally have more side results (not to point out that shots hurt!). Rocephin is painful enough that many providers will mix it v lidocaine simply to try and eliminate some the the pain. Furthermore, if you run to an injected antibiotic prior to trying fluid antibiotics, your son will be in ~ a greater risk for occurring antibiotic resistance. The is why many pediatric providers just won’t perform it.

When us prescribe liquid medications, it’s since we believe it is in the ideal interest of your child. I try to repeat parents the taking medications by mouth is an task every human will need to do at some point. Make the efforts to push off liquid medications in your child’s younger years doesn’t work. The usually just makes because that a more complicated battle once that day at some point comes.

3. Tools matters!

If your child is tiny enough the they require a parent to carry out a medication, your equipment matters. Medication syringes room easier and also far more accurate than medicine cups when offering child medication. In fact, in a study in 2016, researchers found that the odds of make a dosing error were much more than 4 times greater using cups 보다 they were through syringes. If you nothing have simple to read medication syringe at home, I highly recommend this one. That a must-have in your medicine cabinet!

Make sure you aren’t making use of spoons from her kitchen because that medications. Spoons space for food just – they are notorious for resulting in dosing errors.


Bottle nipples can help young babies take it medicine. The action of sucking top top a bottle nipple is soothing for infants, for this reason you can measure the correct sheep of medication in a syringe and also then squirt it right into a party nipple. Allow your infant to suck ~ above the nipple till all the medication is gone!

4. Dosing matters!

In young children, medication dosing is constantly based on her child’s weight. It’s really important to have actually an accurate, up-to-date load for your child before giving medications. If you don’t understand the dosage on your prescription, nothing be shy! Be sure to ask your pediatric provider or pharmacist come clarify. Perform you require the weight-based dose of children’s Tylenol, Advil or Benadryl? Snag my pediatric dosage charts!

Click here to Download your cost-free dosage charts!

5. Method matters!

If your boy is small enough the they require a parental to provide a medication, your method matters. Sit v your son in an upright position (on her lap or in a high chair is helpful). Utilizing a comfort hold position might also help your boy with this process. If your infant or toddler is make the efforts to press the medication away v his hands, occasionally swaddling your infant or toddler is a helpful technique as well.

When making use of a medication syringe, put the syringe toward the ago of the cheek and also start slowly squirting. Try not come aim for the throat. Often this causes gagging and chocking and parents end up wearing much more medication than their son ends up taking! Also, don’t placed the syringe close to the front of the mouth by the lips, together most youngsters will drool or press the medication out through their tongue. The earlier of their cheek is your target!

6. Incentivize great medicine taking behavior.

There’s nothing not correct with offering your child a little treat or catalyst after taking their medication as instructed. Ns don’t love bribery (because, remember, drugs are a non-negotiable!), but something as straightforward as a boy taking their medication after ~ dinner and also being rewarded with dessert or a popsicle can develop a culture of positivity as soon as medication is needed.

7. It is in positive.

If girlfriend dread medication time, your child will, too. Miscellaneous as straightforward as approaching medicine with pleasure can help everyone involved! as soon as your small one is a baby, usage the same tone the voice for medicine as you would certainly for a act or something they love. As children get older, you have the right to acknowledge the medication doesn’t always taste good, however it’s vital to aid them feeling better.

Now, it’s time for the pediatric medicine hacks!


10 means To Get children To take it Medicine

1. Be sure to questioning the pharmacy come flavored fluid medications.

This may seem like a no-brainer, however many pharmacies perform NOT flavor drugs automatically. This have the right to come together an undesired surprise to both parents and also children alike once the very anticipated “bubblegum” medication is found to it is in nothing of the sort.

Before going house from the pharmacy through your child’s liquid medication, specifically ask if castle flavored the medication. Additionally, part pharmacies have actually a few flavors to select from (bubblegum, cherry, grape, etc.). If one kind of flavor just isn’t functioning out, questioning if you can switch it out and shot something different. Different pharmacies sometimes carry different flavors, so girlfriend can always call around and check on flavors before sending her child’s prescription in. Girlfriend can even ask pharmacies to twin the amount of flavor in numerous cases.

2. The trouble with bottles and also sippy cups…

Can you mix liquid medicines with juice or formula? Yes, however please protect against this typical mistake: don’t mix medication with a large amount the fluid. If you put medication in a full sippy cup or bottle, your child needs to drink the entire thing to gain the full dose of medication. Also, medications should be finished right after they are blended in her child’s sippy or bottle. This can be tough to perform if the is a big amount come drink.

If you room mixing her child’s medication in a sippy cup or bottle, i recommend mixing it with no an ext than about 3-4 oz of liquid so the complete amount of medication have the right to be bring away in a quick amount of time.

3. Chill medications.

Medicine virtually always tastes much better when that is cold! The straightforward act the chilling a fluid medication in the refrigerator deserve to make that much an ext palatable. Uneven your medication specifically instructs girlfriend to save it in ~ room temperature, it need to be good to it is in cooled.

4. Swap out Tylenol because that Advil (or vice versa!).

If your kid is older 보다 6 months, they deserve to take either Tylenol or Advil. These medicines are several of the most commonly consumed medications in pediatrics. Now, it is really important to monitor the dosing indict (Tylenol need to not be given much more than every 4 hours and also Advil need to not be given more than every 6 hours), but if your boy really can’t was standing the taste of one of them, friend could try the other.

Both Tylenol and Advil assist children v pain and also fever, for this reason they typically achieve the exact same thing. Both that these drugs come in a variety of spices (cherry, grape, blueberry…), therefore you could always try a different flavor as well! Advil should not be provided to babies under the age of 6 months, therefore Tylenol is the just option because that those tiny ones!

5. Coco syrup.

This is the standard go-to trick! including a teaspoon of coco syrup to liquid medicines is very great at disguising bad tastes. This is a really sugary solution, so i don’t recommend this for babies under the age of 1.

6. Honey.

Kiddo no a chocolate fan? love husband is good at disguising the taste that medication as well. But, be certain not to offer honey to children under the age of 1 due to the threat of botulism.

7. Coffee cream.

This is a new trending favorite! Unlike coco syrup, coffee cream is a little lighter and also comes in a million different flavors. Permitting your boy to pick out the flavor offers them much more control over the situation and usually help immensely.

See more: Can You Mix Vanilla And Lemon Extract ? Lemon And Vanilla!

8. Have a drink that water (or your child’s favorite drink) ready to go!

Washing under the yucky smell as quickly as your child swallows the medication is always helpful!

9. Shot a tablet computer instead.

Most liquid drugs are easily accessible in chewables and tablets. If the liquid medication simply isn’t working, you could request a different kind of the medication. This is especially beneficial for youngsters who are vomiting. Countless (but no all) tablets can be crushed and mixed into a small amount the food (like applesauce or yogurt). Inspect with your pediatric provider first to make sure it’s it s okay to crush the medication.

10. Cool whip hack.

Feeling yes, really creative? Or contempt desperate? This recommendation came from one of our registered nurses in the Community. Mix your child’s fluid medication v frozen cool whip and add sprinkles ~ above top! I’ve however to view a kid rotate down this festive, sweet concoction!

Do you have any kind of tricks come get kids to take it medicine? Share them in the comments!And don’t forget come download my pediatric Tylenol, Advil, and Benadryl dosage charts!

Click here to Download your complimentary dosage charts!

Author: Dani Stringer, MSN, CPNP, PMHS – founder that and MomNurse Academy