Kids don't know what's good for them

Whether they hate the taste, don't want to be pushed around or just feel too sick to cooperate, kids often refuse to take their medicine. It’s not always easy but, with a little ‘creativity’, you can usually find a way to make the medicine go down.

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By The Scott's Team   | 3 min read

By The Scott's Team
3 min read

                Age groups

2-4   4-6    6-10

Keeping your child healthy is probably the most important job you have as a mom. But from time to time it’s going to mean asking your little one to do some of their least favourite things – like swallowing a spoonful of yucky medicine.

No matter how sick or miserable they are, the promise of feeling better never seems to work. But at least you can cut down on the meltdowns with a few smart parenting moves.

Give them choices

To create the illusion that your little one is in the driver's seat, give them choices about how they take their medicine, whether it’s with a special shape or colour of spoon, or at a certain time of day. Or try putting their medicine into toy teacups to encourage them to take it on their own. Either way, they’ll feel like they have more control over the situation.

Let them play doctor

If your child is old enough to understand, try playing a game. Pretend to give the medicine to a doll or stuffed animal first. Or let your child ‘play doctor’ and encourage them to give the doll a spoonful of imaginary medicine. Making a game of it could help make things easier when it’s time for them to take the real stuff.

Planes, trains and automobiles

It’s an oldie but a goodie. Toddlers can be surprisingly easy to please, so try changing your delivery method for a fuss-free dose of medication. If your little one turns up their nose at the spoon, offer it in a dropper or a dosage cup instead. And to get them to open wide, pretend it’s an aeroplane flying in to deliver the medicine, with the appropriate sound effects. If that doesn’t work, try a choo-choo train. Or a racing car!

Master the art of camouflage

Ask your pediatrician or pharmacist if it’s okay to mix a particular medication with food. Crunch their tablets up into peanut butter, or mix the medicine into a little ice cream or fruit-flavoured yoghurt. But remember – they need to eat (or drink) it all to get the benefit!

Worth a shot?

Working on the same ‘Mary Poppins’ principle, that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, why not try giving them the medicine in Jell-o shots? Using an ice cube tray, put half a dose of medicine in each cube and fill it the rest of the way with Jell-o. That way, you’ll know exactly how much to give them and the flavour will be easily disguised.

Ice is nice

If you have older children, try numbing their taste buds first by getting them to suck an ice cube before taking the medicine – and then let them wash it down with a drink afterwards.

And remember – once the mission has been accomplished, don't forget the big hug and congratulations on a job well done!

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By The Scott’s Team

A group of our internal experts and agencies are regular contributors for our articles and news.

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