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How To Give Your Child Medication

How to give your child medicineI remember my baby shower for my first daughter.  I got the cute “safety” kit.  It had a nail trimmers, a nasal aspirator and a medicine dropper.  I felt like I could conquer the world with that kit.  Then my child arrived.  I was afraid to trim her nails lest I hurt her.  That nasal aspirator thing was just gross and the medicine dropper…well…that didn’t even work.

Fifteen years have gone by.  None of my children have lost fingers due to nail trimmers.  Their nostrils are not permanently enlarged due to that nasal aspirator.  I’ve finally learned how to give medication to my children and you know, I don’t even use the medicine dropper.

Some of my children didn’t really mind taking medication.  That was wonderful.  Then I had my son, who HATES medicine.  If I squirt the medicine too far back in his mouth or if I give him too much at a time, he’s been known to throw up just from gagging.  What have I learned?  A whole bunch of things.

There are many different products out there actually designed to help medicate your child.  I’ve seen specially designed bottles and also pacifiers designed to cleverly sneak medicine into your child.  I’d suggest trying these things because they may work for your child.

I found that my son, even at a young age, wasn’t fooled when medicine came out of the pacifier.  He also wasn’t fooled by mixing the medicine with juice in his bottle.  The thing that I didn’t like about these methods: how long can you let the medicine out before it is just not good to ingest anymore?  For example, suppose it takes an hour for your child to drink the medicine/formula mix?  Suppose it takes longer? Suppose your baby goes on a formula strike and refuses to drink the mix? Then what?

I’ve found that it’s best to actually just get through the whole thing as quickly as possible.  I’ve also found that it helps to have someone assist you if you have a child or an infant who really doesn’t like taking medication.

The plastic medicine plungers available at the drug store work great!  Usually pharmacists will give you extras if you ask politely.  I like them better than a medicine dropper.

In order to give medicine to your baby or young child, it’s best to lie them on their back.  Have a spouse or friend gently hold their hands down and talk to the child or try to distract him or her. Gently hold your child’s head (it’s hard to give medicine to a child who is twisting their head back and forth) and put the plunger diagonal into your child’s mouth.

The plunger should be aimed towards the back of the child’s mouth towards their cheek.  Don’t aim too far back or your child will gag and possibly throw the medicine up.  If you aim to far front, it’s easy for the child to just spit out the medicine.  Don’t push all of the medicine into your child at one time.  Gradually squirt in the medicine a little at a time.  This way, if some of the medicine gets spit out, at least your child will have some sort of medicine in their stomach.  If your child gags easily, this will keep him from gagging too.

Another tip: I have found that my son actually takes medicine better now that I have begun to flavor his medicines.  It really does work!

With some practice,  the help of your spouse, and some flavored medicine, you should be able to give medicine to even the most “difficult” of children.  Good luck!


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