Saying that giving children liquid medicine is difficult is an understatement. You aren’t alone if you feel like your child develops super human strength as soon as they see the syringe coming, clenching their lips closed so tightly that there’s no hope of ever prying them open.
Taking medicine isn’t fun for kids, but it isn’t fun for parents either. Forcing your child to do something they don’t want to do is always stress inducing. Not to mention, it can be difficult for parents to remember to give medication when life is so busy.
You aren’t doomed to feel like you’re fighting a war that neither you nor your child are winning. There are ways to make giving liquid medicine easier.
Make It Taste Good
Did you know you can ask your pharmacist to add flavoring to your child’s liquid medicine? Most pharmacies offer a range of flavors that can make your child’s meds taste better. Let your child pick which flavor they want and they will be more likely to take it.
Did you know you can flavor liquid medicine with stuff you have at home? One teaspoon of chocolate syrup, pancake syrup, or even Kool-Aid powder can be used!
Get Your Technique Right
If you have ever tried to shove a syringe into your child’s mouth and squirt the medicine as fast as possible in the hopes that they will swallow it, you know the result isn’t pleasant. The medicine usually ends up down the front of their shirt or spit all over your furniture.
You need a better technique.
While your child is sitting down, place the syringe beyond their gum line. Slowly drip the medicine on the back of the tongue or in the pouch inside the cheek. Avoid squirting the medicine in their mouth all at once or squirting it all the way at the back of their throat. It just promotes spitting and/or choking. Some parents find children will willingly take the medicine if they’re able to hold the syringe themselves.
If your child is particularly stubborn, ask for help from another adult. One of you can hold the child on their lap while the other one opens your child's mouth and administers the medicine. You can hold your child’s mouth closed while they swallow, if needed.
Make It Fun With Stickers
Tabs are pulled off after every dose is administered. They can be used on any medication bottle, including liquids. Plus, kids love pulling off the stickers! Let them add each little sticker to a chart. After they have completed a certain number of doses, you could give them a reward that will encourage them to look forward to taking their medication.
You really can make giving liquid medicine easier! It just takes some patience, practice, and involving your child in the process.