6 Ways to Get Kids to Take Medicine

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We shared awhile back about our visit to the hospital with Minion for RSV (the worst day ever), but we haven't told you much about the aftermath. In total I spent 10 days with a sick baby, followed by 13 days with a sick toddler and preschooler. I learned that while it's scarier for infants to get sick, in a way it's easier because they don't fight treatment. Trying to get kids to take medicine? Strong-willed, obstinate and opinionated kids? That's a challenge that takes DETERMINATION.

sick baby

After we finally sprang loose from the hospital, we all huddled up at home for a couple weeks battling coughs, sniffles, earaches…the whole disgusting nine yards.

Get kids to take medicine

Pretty much everyone who had come in contact with Minion got it, including Oma and Opa. We all had to keep our distance from society in general lest we continue the cycle of sickness. I can't even imagine having kids in school at this time! Throughout it all I did my best to keep the boys near the vaporizer, offering medicine and hydrating them to keep the mucus moving so that it wouldn't result in a sinus infection and drag on longer than necessary. Here are the clever ways I learned to get kids to take medicine.

Get kids to take medicine without fighting or flailing

6 Ways to Get Kids to Take Medicine

Timing is everything. Offer them medicine before food, when they haven't eaten in awhile. They're likely to be less finicky if they're a little bit hungry.

A spoonful of sugar. It helps to give them medicine that doesn't taste disgusting. Imagine that! For Some Boy, we use Dr. Cocoa's cough and cold medicine that combines effective ingredients with 10% real cocoa for a chocolatey taste. He used to turn his nose up at medicine but once he discovered that Dr. Cocoa tastes like chocolate, he quickly changed his tune.

Presentation matters. I used to hate having my mom shove a big metal spoon in my mouth. My oldest, on the other hand, kind of likes the attention and prefers that over a plastic dosage cup. Always measure it out properly, but you can change up the way you hand the medication over – be it on a spoon, in a medicine squirter or a tiny cup. Get kids to take medicine with creativity!

Get kids to take medicine

Make it a moment. I dote over to my son when he's sick to the point that he kind of plays it up and feels special (I'm sure I'm setting myself up for a world of “fake sick” days in the future, but whatever). We lay a big sheet out on the couch, make a tray of comfort items such as soup, medicine and juice, and cuddle up to watch a movie. You can get kids to take medicine more easily by encompassing it in a larger experience so it doesn't feel like an isolated, scary event.

Let them play doctor. This gives them an opportunity to discuss the medicine while feeling like they are in control of the situation.

Reason with them. Explain to your children that the medicine will help them feel better. With older kids, you have the benefit of logic and understanding.

Get kids to take medicine

How do you get your kids to take their medicine?


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