Asking your child to take oral medications can be difficult. Parents often use a lot of imagination just to entice the child to take the medicine. Although it may be hard to convince your child to take oral medication, parents need to take steps in order for a child to receive the needed drug.
When giving the child’s medication, parents should pay close attention to giving the right drug, with the right dose, and at the right time to their child. It is necessary for parents to discuss with their doctor any possible interactions, which can occur if the drug is taken with any over the counter medications. It may be best to discuss this at the time when your doctor will prescribe a particular medication. It is necessary that parents should know what the drug is for, possible side effects, proper dosing, when to stop taking the drug and what will happen if your child will miss a dose. It is essential that parents know all these things, in order to prevent any detrimental effects from improperly taking a drug.
Giving oral medications can be tricky especially if your child dislikes the taste. Most medications for children are artificially flavored with orange, raspberry, strawberry or cherry. However, some children may still resist drinking any type of medication. Here are helpful guidelines for administering oral medication to your kids:
1. Safely place all medicines in a locked cabinet to prevent your child from ingesting harmful amounts.
2. Never refer to medicine as candy. Some children who may like the taste of the medicine may help themselves to more “candy” when nobody is watching.
3. Asking your child a question like, “Will you drink this for me?” will only give him an opportunity to say no. It will be better if you say, “Would you like to drink your medicine with milk or with water?” This will give your child a sense of control by choosing what beverage he can take the medication with. During the consultation, ask your doctor as to what beverages are compatible with your child’s medication.
4. Tell the truth about the taste of medicine. Children expect honesty from their parents. If the medicine tastes bitter, mix it with a teaspoon of strained applesauce. Never mix the medicine with a bottle of baby food because your child may have to finish the entire bottle of food, to get the right dosage of the drug.
5. Never temporarily leave a medicine unattended within your child’s reach. When you prepare the medicine, never leave the bottle on the table or on the bedside. This may attract younger kids and may lead to accidental ingestion.
6. Use the proper measuring devices like medicine cups, oral droppers, cylindrical dosing spoons and oral syringes to administer the drug. Most drugs come with their own measuring devices, and it is recommended that you use them.
7. Aspiration precaution should be observed when giving medication to an infant. Never give the medicine when the infant is lying flat because it may lead to aspiration. You can safely use a medicine dropper, with the tip towards the side of the infant’s mouth, to administer the medication.
8. Children below 9 years old usually find it difficult to swallow tablets. You can crush the tablet and dissolve it in water, or you can mix it with applesauce to improve the taste. Parents need to make sure that a medication in capsule form will work properly if the particles are removed. Similarly, some medications are encapsulated, which keeps it from dissolving in the stomach, thus allowing absorption in the intestine. This precaution should also be observed when dealing with enteric coated tablets.
Parents should always be vigilant when they give oral medications to their child. Generally, medicines are best taken straight, but it may be hard to convince children to do so. It may also help if you create a list of the medicines and their corresponding timeframe, as to when your child would need to take it. You can mark your list every time you have given the medication to your child for that day. This will be a very good tool in preventing errors. Reading labels is also necessary in order for you to watch out for any untoward effects of the medication. Medicines can certainly help in treating your child’s ailment, but when taken in large amounts, it may also lead to other problems.