Parenting Tips

3 Tips to Get Your Children to Take Their Medicine

Since my last post, my house has been a den of sickness and misery. Butterbean had 2 more ear aches. Both kids had sniffles and coughs. Everyone has had the flu at least once, and my house was awash in vomit for a week straight. I missed so much work, my boss forgot I was ever employed and a new person, Jose,  moved into my cubicle during my absence… November was not a good month.

On the bright side, I got a little more practice administering nasty tasting drugs to my kids, and I’ve come away with some actual advice for you.

1. Talk to your pharmacist

In a moment of sheer desperation, after an epic battle with my daughter who didn’t want to take her medicine, the hubster marched into the drug store and asked for an antibiotic that didn’t taste like pure battery acid. The pharmacist listened patiently, sympathized with him, called our doctor an idiot (maybe not in those exact words), and gave Butterbean a new prescription*. He just handed over a new bottle of medicine like he was a kind and helpful healthcare professional or something; it was a miracle. I’m still kicking myself for not going to him sooner.

*The replacement drug (azithromycin, if you’re wondering), was still hard to get it into my sick kid, but it was nowhere near as horrible as the clarithromycin my doctor originally prescribed.

To be honest, I’ve never had a bad experience with a Pharmacy Tech. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to behind the counter has been very knowledgeable and willing to help. If your child isn’t taking his/her prescription, I highly recommend talking to the Pharmacist even before you see your doctor again. Your issue might be solved much more quickly if you cut out the middle man.

2. Mask the taste with chocolate syrup

I mix the medicine with about 2 tablespoons of chocolate Quik and a tablespoon or so of milk. The secret seems to be in making the concoction at least 60% chocolate syrup. I don’t know if the goop cuts the grit, or if it’s so sweet, she can’t taste the bitterness, but the Bean doesn’t mind her antibiotics if they’re administered this way. Toward the end, I think she was actually looking forward to taking her medicine. Quik is definitely the way to go.

3. Threaten to go to the doctor for a shot

If, like me, you don’t mind bending the truth for a good cause, you can fib and tell your child that he/she will have to go to the doctor to get a shot if he/she won’t take the medicine. Sure, it’s a little mean, but it gets the job done, and it’s technically kind of true. If your child gets so sick he/she needs to be hospitalized, a nurse will probably give the medicine intravenously, amiright? Think of this less as a threat designed to manipulate your children, and more like a creative truth aimed at keeping them alive and healthy, and at keeping you from murdering your sick tots who refuse to take their medicine. Really, it’s win/win.


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