OT -- getting my kids to take medicine

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OT -- getting my kids to take medicine

With all these smart moms here, I figured you might have some tips.

My kids are sick, they need to take liquid Motrin or Benadryl or the various things the doctor couldn't provide in chewable dosages. But they hem and haw and sip and take 500 hours to do it and it drives us batty! We've tried logic regarding how long it takes to drink it and how much worse it is when you sip at it, we've tried chasers (drinks, candy, whatever), but they turn it into an incredibly frustrating ordeal. Juliet is 5, Nathaniel is 9, and they BOTH do it.

Any suggestions? We've tried it on a spoon, in a cup, with a fox, in a box, in the rain with a train, etc.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
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Have you tried mixing it with a small amount of something they like such as oatmeal? Good old fashion bribery?

Joined: 03/08/03
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Have you tried mixing it with a small amount of something they like such as oatmeal? Good old fashion bribery?

Yep....no luck with candy even.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
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Is it the taste they don't like? Tell them to try holding their nose while they drink it back in one go, it seems to work on me because usually those things smell vile as well. No idea on any other tactics, so far my 2yo DS loves taking medicine, but he is a strange one. He gets excited about it.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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Can you ask the pharmacy to flavour it?

Joined: 03/08/03
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It's the flavored medicine they hate. Sigh...

AlyssaEimers's picture
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Last idea. Can you sneak in into something with a strong flavour like orange juice without them knowing?

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Last idea. Can you sneak in into something with a strong flavour like orange juice without them knowing?

Worth a try!

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

I've had to be stern before (when bribery doesn't work). Like, "You have to take this, the doctor said so, there are no other options. Now go!" My girls quit fighting me when it gets to that point. If I throw the doctor's name in there (or threaten to take them back if they don't drink it so they can get better) they usually become cooperative at that point. But bribery is always my first choice. I'm certainly not above dishing out a dollar a dose, lol.

And sorry your kids are sick!

Joined: 03/08/03
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"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

I've had to be stern before (when bribery doesn't work). Like, "You have to take this, the doctor said so, there are no other options. Now go!" My girls quit fighting me when it gets to that point. If I throw the doctor's name in there (or threaten to take them back if they don't drink it so they can get better) they usually become cooperative at that point. But bribery is always my first choice. I'm certainly not above dishing out a dollar a dose, lol.

And sorry your kids are sick!

Thanks.

We've tried stern, we've tried everything to do with talking them into it. Juliet's better about it than Nathaniel is!

I just put her to bed, poor feverish thing, and now he's taking a hot steamy shower. He's doing okay but I feel so bad for my little girl! Fever, cough, she even had a little nosebleed today. All she wants to do is curl up next to me and flop.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
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Jace has liked the taste of most medicines so I have never had a fight.. But when it comes too certain ABX's, like amoxicillin, he says it tastes horrible. I just explain to him that it's really quick and it's better to take it than to throw up or be sick. I also make sure I have a chaser ready, like juice, and he's good to go.

Joined: 03/08/03
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"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

Jace has liked the taste of most medicines so I have never had a fight.. But when it comes too certain ABX's, like amoxicillin, he says it tastes horrible. I just explain to him that it's really quick and it's better to take it than to throw up or be sick. I also make sure I have a chaser ready, like juice, and he's good to go.

Sadly that does nothing for us. We explained it, we cajoled, we offered juice or Gatorade or candy, it's still a ridiculous ordeal. Then we end up wanting to kill them, lol.

Joined: 08/17/04
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I have nothing...with dd1's language issues we can't always do the typical thing and if it is not a chewable then we do kind of have to force her to take it. I do bring a chaser such as juice or a popscicle as a motivator.

Youngest loves medication so it hasn't been a problem for us with her yet.

b525's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
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Maybe try a medicine dropper/syringe? We used to do that when the boys were littler. They were big enough to drink it on their own, but it was big drama to get it done. So, we finally just said, "Alright, here's how it's going to be." We filled the dropper, put it in and squeezed quickly. It got it over really quickly and we were less irritated with them. Maybe it got the bulk of the medicine past their taste buds, so it didn't seem so bad? Of course, we could be a little more forcible then because they were littler, but maybe this could still work for you. Maybe explaining that you want to try something different, that maybe this will help it skip right over the taste buds so they won't be able to taste it as much?

I know I couldn't stomach liquid medicine when I was a kid. It was a huge ordeal then, and I still can't stand the stuff! I am very sensitive to taste and could always taste the medicine when it was in something else and then I had to go through drinking/eating the whole thing in order to get all the medicine. If they're anything like me with the taste, mixing probably doesn't really hide the taste for them.

b525's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
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Also, could you get a kid-sized tablet/capsule? One time we had to give my son Benadryl when he was barely 5 and we only had capsules. We checked with the doc and he said to go ahead if we thought he could get it down. If I remember correctly, we had him take a big mouthful of water, squeezed the pill between his lips, and he just gulped the whole mouthful down. Easiest dosing we've ever done!

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Sadly that does nothing for us. We explained it, we cajoled, we offered juice or Gatorade or candy, it's still a ridiculous ordeal. Then we end up wanting to kill them, lol.

Have you tried putting it in one of your amazing treats you bake? LOL!

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

We did two things.
One, kool-aid tropical punch. It will mask the flavor of anything on the planet. I blame my knowing that on me being an 80's child. It will also dye your hair, which is kind of scary lol
Two, flavored applesauce.

My daughter STILL does this to me. Even with pills. It drives me INSANE. She's freaking 13. I hope yours grow out of it quickly!!!!

(I'd make a joke about a trying a beer bong here, but that's probly innappropriate Wink haha)

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
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"b525" wrote:

Also, could you get a kid-sized tablet/capsule? One time we had to give my son Benadryl when he was barely 5 and we only had capsules. We checked with the doc and he said to go ahead if we thought he could get it down. If I remember correctly, we had him take a big mouthful of water, squeezed the pill between his lips, and he just gulped the whole mouthful down. Easiest dosing we've ever done!

How do you get your kids to learn to swallow pills? Over Thanksgiving I needed to give DD (7) a pill form medicine, and I could not get it across how to swallow it. I ended up mashing it up and putting it in oatmeal.

Sapphire Sunsets's picture
Joined: 05/19/02
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

How do you get your kids to learn to swallow pills? Over Thanksgiving I needed to give DD (7) a pill form medicine, and I could not get it across how to swallow it. I ended up mashing it up and putting it in oatmeal.

Put it in applesauce. We did that with both our kids till they got used to swallowing pills with just water.

On topic: Agree with the medicine dropper.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

I second the applesauce for learning to swallow pills. Madi started swallowing pills before she was 2 and the applesauce did the trick in the beginning. My kids aren't fans of liquid medicine so I always ask for pill form if available.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
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My son Jake had to take all kinds of medicine when he had cancer at 9 and he HATED any liquid medicines. So he just started swallowing pills on his own because he didn't want to drink the liquid. I always had to make sure that they wrote the prescriptions for pills because if they gave him liquid it was always a fight to get him to take it. Maybe you could give them the option of trying to take a pill instead once and see if that works better. I also agree with the syringe that is what I always use when I have trouble getting my kids to take medicine. You just shoot it in the back of their mouth and they have no choice but to swallow it.

Joined: 03/08/03
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Can you believe this? WE LOST POWER LAST NIGHT!!

i took my sick kids to my Dad's in NYC today. They need heat and light and comfort. Oy!

i will go through all these ideas, thank you all so much!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

(((Hugs Laurie))) That stinks! I hope you are able to go home (to a house with electricity) soon!

I don't have any helpful hints about getting kids to take medicine. T takes it okay, so I've never had to do much other than say "Take this." I hope you get it figured out though, and that you all start feeling better.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Mine hated it too, so a few things to think about.
#1 is the medication necessary to help them heal quicker, or will their body fight it off.
#2 What natural remedies are available so they do not have to take the medication.
#3 consider cutting an adult dosage in half and have them swallow a pill.. or scour for a chewable that is similar.

PS - Mine have actually puked up the medications so I totally get you. Wink

Joined: 05/31/06
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Sorry Laurie Sad I'd try the syringe and just shoot it down their throats. Mine take it easily, but that is the only thing I can imagine working, as it might get them around tasting it. Not fun, but quick at least.

Joined: 03/08/03
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"Rivergallery" wrote:

Mine hated it too, so a few things to think about.
#1 is the medication necessary to help them heal quicker, or will their body fight it off.
#2 What natural remedies are available so they do not have to take the medication.
#3 consider cutting an adult dosage in half and have them swallow a pill.. or scour for a chewable that is similar.

PS - Mine have actually puked up the medications so I totally get you. Wink

Yep, the medication is necessary, there's no substitute that won't ALSO make them balk, and no chewable. I tried different teas and herbal drinks when they have sore throats and it's the same story only that's a whole cup vs. a teaspoon or two.

We will just have to keep yelling at them, lol.

And we got our power back! I took the kids and ran while it was out, no need for sick kids to be in a cold dark house. We just got back home and I am catching up on work while the kids play. Juliet's fever seems better, too.

Joined: 03/08/03
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Well, just to be crazy and cooperative, Juliet has been taking her medicine without a fuss. Ha! Her big brother doesn't need anything but antibiotics now and those are chewables, so the house is calm. I'm hoping she won't need any more by tomorrow anyway.

Will keep all those tricks in my back pocket though!!!

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Not sure what their illness is, but most kids LOVE honey, and it does help with sore throats.. there is also sore throat spray. And my kids LOVE cough drops if you get the right flavor.
I rarely need to take my kiddos in because of the way we eat/treat illnesses...They are also pretty healthy, but we don't catch as much as they are not in public school.
At first sign of illness I cut them off from all dairy and sugar and have them drink lots of water.
My kiddos love tea, maybe you have the wrong kind? What if you freeze it in a popscile? Add honey ;).

Joined: 03/08/03
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You won't believe this but Juliet hates honey!

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
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"Rivergallery" wrote:

Not sure what their illness is, but most kids LOVE honey, and it does help with sore throats.. there is also sore throat spray. And my kids LOVE cough drops if you get the right flavor.
I rarely need to take my kiddos in because of the way we eat/treat illnesses...They are also pretty healthy, but we don't catch as much as they are not in public school.
At first sign of illness I cut them off from all dairy and sugar and have them drink lots of water.
My kiddos love tea, maybe you have the wrong kind? What if you freeze it in a popscile? Add honey ;).

Please be careful with diagnosing and treating illnesses.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"Rivergallery" wrote:

Not sure what their illness is, but most kids LOVE honey, and it does help with sore throats.. there is also sore throat spray. And my kids LOVE cough drops if you get the right flavor.
I rarely need to take my kiddos in because of the way we eat/treat illnesses...They are also pretty healthy, but we don't catch as much as they are not in public school.
At first sign of illness I cut them off from all dairy and sugar and have them drink lots of water.
My kiddos love tea, maybe you have the wrong kind? What if you freeze it in a popscile? Add honey ;).

My son has a sinus infection and my daughter had a fever running for days plus a bad cough. Nothing to do with dairy or sugar. We wanted them both to get a break from coughing at night so they could sleep and she needed regular fever reducer. He is on antibiotics now.

I'm not sure what no dairy or sugar would help with, but fortunately we have never had something like that. Also thanks to public school my kids have strong immunity and don't get sick much, and usually aren't that bothered by being sick. This time around we knew there was more going because Juliet was all floppy and listless and hot (and raving a bit at night) and Nathaniel's cough was relentless.

Anyway they are both on the mend, and Juliet had an attitude change about medicine! Phew. The antibiotics are chewables and he keeps reminding us! Mr. Responsible.

Thanks everyone!

Joined: 11/28/06
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

My son has a sinus infection and my daughter had a fever running for days plus a bad cough. Nothing to do with dairy or sugar. We wanted them both to get a break from coughing at night so they could sleep and she needed regular fever reducer. He is on antibiotics now.

I'm not sure what no dairy or sugar would help with, but fortunately we have never had something like that. Also thanks to public school my kids have strong immunity and don't get sick much, and usually aren't that bothered by being sick. This time around we knew there was more going because Juliet was all floppy and listless and hot (and raving a bit at night) and Nathaniel's cough was relentless.

Anyway they are both on the mend, and Juliet had an attitude change about medicine! Phew. The antibiotics are chewables and he keeps reminding us! Mr. Responsible.

Thanks everyone!

Some people believe that drinking milk (or consuming any dairy product) will cause an increase in mucus production. If that were true it would make sense to avoid dairy products when sick. Personally I think that theory is bogus and so does my girls' pulmonologist. But to each their own.

Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can weaken the immune system (or so I've read) and exacerbate diarrhea. My girls would rather become dehydrated than drink Pedialyte so we always had to resort to the "sugary" sports drinks anyway.

Joined: 05/13/02
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The only thing I can say about dairy is that I avoid it if I have to sing/perform since it does coat my throat. I also steer clear of it for the boys if they've had a tummy bug.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Dairy does cause mucus, and if your body is sensitive to it like mine or my sons it is almost an instant asthma attack. Our bodies are actually not created to digest cows milk, and the majority of people after the age of 2 loose the enzymes to be able to properly digest it. Some people like my husband can drink gallons of it with no problem, and it doesn't cause mucus issues for him even when sick, but it does for me and my oldest son. It also causes us to throw up, same with other foods for me, but I have severe digestive issues. Sugar does weaken the immune system, and when you eat it it doesn't allow your body to get the nutrients it needs from the healthy food.. Remember your momma not allowing snacks before dinner ;). Well you need the vitamins to fight infections and illnesses. And it is simple that candy or cookies etc don't have the vitamins and minerals you need.

For coughs we do a ginger bath. For upper sinuses we do eucalyptus in the shower. So glad they are feeling better. I have had to take antibiotics myself, but my kiddos have never had to. I never had to take them in for cold or flu, their bodies and home remedies fought it off..Whether that is luck or choices, not sure, probably some of both. Only had to take them in for allergic reactions, testing for anemia, and a rash I couldn't ID that ended up being Roseola. :).

Often at the first sign of ANYONE getting sick in my house we all take echinechea, and GoldenSeal, and sometimes other things. I consider at that point often limiting sugars, and making doubly sure about what they are eating. And I wipe down the house doorknobs especially. Hope this gives you some ideas. So glad they are taking the meds now :).

Joined: 03/08/03
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I have had great luck with echinacea as well, and herbal teas....I haven't gotten Juliet's cold despite the fact that she crawls into our bed on my side and coughs into my mouth. Smile

i am also a big believer in vitamin C for colds! We don't drink juice normally but if they have colds then it becomes an orange juice festival.

Thanks...I am glad to see them running around like crazy maniacs again.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"Rivergallery" wrote:

Dairy does cause mucus, and if your body is sensitive to it like mine or my sons it is almost an instant asthma attack. Our bodies are actually not created to digest cows milk, and the majority of people after the age of 2 loose the enzymes to be able to properly digest it. Some people like my husband can drink gallons of it with no problem, and it doesn't cause mucus issues for him even when sick, but it does for me and my oldest son. It also causes us to throw up, same with other foods for me, but I have severe digestive issues. Sugar does weaken the immune system, and when you eat it it doesn't allow your body to get the nutrients it needs from the healthy food.. Remember your momma not allowing snacks before dinner ;). Well you need the vitamins to fight infections and illnesses. And it is simple that candy or cookies etc don't have the vitamins and minerals you need.

For coughs we do a ginger bath. For upper sinuses we do eucalyptus in the shower. So glad they are feeling better. I have had to take antibiotics myself, but my kiddos have never had to. I never had to take them in for cold or flu, their bodies and home remedies fought it off..Whether that is luck or choices, not sure, probably some of both. Only had to take them in for allergic reactions, testing for anemia, and a rash I couldn't ID that ended up being Roseola. :).

Often at the first sign of ANYONE getting sick in my house we all take echinechea, and GoldenSeal, and sometimes other things. I consider at that point often limiting sugars, and making doubly sure about what they are eating. And I wipe down the house doorknobs especially. Hope this gives you some ideas. So glad they are taking the meds now :).

Dairy does not cause mucus.
Cold symptoms: Does drinking milk increase phlegm? - MayoClinic.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/science/21qna.html?_r=0

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
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There are a lot of doctors that believe in sugar to promote natural healing as well. Prolotherapy is popular, whether it be mind over matter. Also, a lot of people turn to OTC herbal supplements without realizing that they too can have contraindications-sometimes deadly-when mixed together. That's why I am a believer in knowing your own body but to also know when to be smart.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"Although drinking milk may make phlegm thicker and more irritating to your throat than it would normally be, ..." I will almost give this one too you, as we can both be "right" Dairy is bad for some people in relationship to phlegm.. Guess I will just have to reword. Wink

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"Rivergallery" wrote:

"Although drinking milk may make phlegm thicker and more irritating to your throat than it would normally be, ..." I will almost give this one too you, as we can both be "right" Dairy is bad for some people in relationship to phlegm.. Guess I will just have to reword. Wink

If dairy gives you an almost instant asthma attack you are likely allergic to dairy. My youngest was allergic when she was little and developed croup when she had it. Prior to knowing she was actually allergic I believed the myth that dairy products must exacerbate respiratory issues and assumed that was the case with her. Now I've done my research and I know better. I also incorrectly assumed that food allergies always cause GI issues or rashes and that definitely isn't the case either (Madi had only respiratory reactions to milk).

I'm not trying to be rude, I swear. I am on pain medication for a pulled muscle and I think it makes me rather abrupt and cranky. There's just so much bogus medical info out there and I wanted to point out that what you were saying wasn't really true (although many people think it is). Anyway, hope you and your son are able to avoid dairy without issues. Lord knows it is hidden in all kinds of foods I never thought it would be until I had to start reading labels. Thankfully after avoiding dairy entirely for a little over a year Madison outgrew her allergy. Allergies are quirky things.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Sadly that does nothing for us. We explained it, we cajoled, we offered juice or Gatorade or candy, it's still a ridiculous ordeal. Then we end up wanting to kill them, lol.

Well, at least you wouldn't have to give them their medicine Wink