How do I get my child to take medicine? - page 2

My 5 yr old daughter has a staph infection on her face. Her top lip and right cheek is swollen and painful. She just received her antibiotics, and is terrified of taking the medicine. It is liquid, I... Read More

  1. by   blueyesue
    Thank you all for your posts. This morning I noticed her cheek was red, so I knew I had to get this in her, and I thought I was ready. I fed her breakfast, and brought out the juice in a cup. After her saying "I'm scared I'm scared, and after a couple tears I said "Here, you can do it all by yourself" She reluctantly took the syringe, squirted all the medicine in and then gagged and spit it all over the floor. I gave her a couple of choices, and she chose to take a little and then drink some juice. It took a long time, (she took under .3 Mls at a time) but she got it all down. I will try pudding or buy a chocolate shake for tonight. Only 10 more days to go. Ugggh.
  2. by   Indy
    I'm really glad to hear something worked! Might it also help to emphasize in language she can understand, the possible damage that could occur if she doesn't get the medicine? I'm putting that in suggestion form 'cause I don't know your daughter. Mine would not have understood at that age.
  3. by   blueyesue
    Quote from Indy
    I'm really glad to hear something worked! Might it also help to emphasize in language she can understand, the possible damage that could occur if she doesn't get the medicine? I'm putting that in suggestion form 'cause I don't know your daughter. Mine would not have understood at that age.
    Before I took her to the hospital yesterday she cried and said "I'm scared that I have a disease" I tried to reassure her. Today I told her that if she doesn't take the medicine that she could get really sick. I think that is what finally made her come to grips that she wasn't getting out of taking the meds. You helped me get some sleep last night. Thanks.
  4. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from TazziRN
    That's one that I will never use, and I don't allow parents tell my pedi pts that in front of me.

    Something that works with toddlers and pre-school kids: keep the syringe in their mouths between squirts, between the teeth. Harder for them to spit stuff out because they can't close their mouths enough to spit.

    Dexamethasone: we have a new doc, fresh out of residency, that orders "Decadron 2 mg IV dose PO." I thought he didn't know it came in a pedi liquid but then I realized what he was doing: saving the nurses from having to get a kid to take 8-10 mls PO! 2 mg of an IV dose is 0.5 ml...much easier!
    I just think that is less traumatic than holding a child down and squirting medicines in their mouth and holding their noses and forcing them to swallow. Meds should never be a fight, and even though it's not the truth, what it does teach children are that medicines are a necessity of life and sometimes you have to force yourself to do things that you do not like, or even dread, to stay healthy, and there are consequences to not following through, and you are never too young to take responsibility for your own health.

    Now, this is just me as a parent and my personal choice...I believe when children are old enough to communicate they should know when they are taking medicine, so they can learn the process and that taking medicine when you are sick is a part of life.

    When I was barely old enough to read and tell time, the bottle of whatever I was taking was placed on the kitchen table and taking my meds was my responsibility, even though they constantly went back to check to make sure the pill was gone.
  5. by   mamason
    My stepdaughter could not take the bubblegum flavored antibiotic that was prescribed for something or another. Just thinking about that stuff, while waiting in line to pick it up, made her throw up. Literally. So, the pharm suggested she might be able to handle the chewable tabs better. They were flavored also. So, after calling the doc and getting the order to change the RX, my stepdaughter was a happy camper. She was able to takes the chewable pills without a problem. I wonder if your child's RX is available in flavored chewable tabs? Maybe that's an option for you?
  6. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    you could tell her the alternative... a shot of antibiotics

    swtooth
  7. by   Valanda
    The only thing that worked for my son (currently 15 yr-old, blind, and autistic) was crushing tablets very fine and mixing them in apple butter. Something about the apple butter worked much better than plain apple sauce, hersey's sauce, or jelly. I'd give him one bite of med-mixed apple butter and 2 bites without meds as a chaser. Anything else I tried I ended up wearing. He is also very good at removing any large bits of meds, so I have to crush extra fine.
  8. by   Gompers
    I think that medicine companies should make pediatric medicine in sprinkle form, LOL! When I was a kid, my mom would give me adult antibiotics that were in capsule form - the ones that you'd pull open and it would be a hundred tiny little balls, just like those nonparils that you use to decorate cookies and stuff. She'd sprinkle them over applesauce or pudding, just in one part of the bowl. I'd eat that first, then eat the rest of the treat to chase down any bitter taste that might linger.

    Of course, this was way before things like antibiotic resistance were discovered and my mom was just taking medicine that she got at the doctor's office where she worked and giving them to me and my brother when we got sick. She'd give us one whole adult antibiotic pill and that was it. If she did get us pediatric amoxicillin, she'd mix up the whole bottle of it and we'd take it all at once, just that one time. Sooooooo glad those days are over and that we survived! Is it any wonder that my brother needed his tonsils out by age 7 for recurrent infections and that I'm allergic to penicillin now???
  9. by   mauxtav8r
    My daughter, now 9, always had a sensitive gag reflex, and thick liquids (even chocolate milk or whole milk) is yucky to her. When she had strep at five we asked her whether she'd rather take a tablet every day for 5 days, liquid every day for 10 days, or one shot. She didn't want to learn about tablets yet, and she knew the suspension would not stay down. She chose the shot. Since this was her kindergarten year, she remembered well that shots weren't fun, but they were over fast.

    It helped that our pedicatrician and his nurse were well known to my daughter. This nurse had given her EVERY shot in her life. They were very understanding.

    Good luck for the next few days. Good suggestion above on sprinkles. A little girl that I kept took most of her many meds sprinkled on white bread and balled up. She could chew a little then swallow with a lemonade chaser.

    Also, there's a pharmacist who will mix children's medications by the flavor, so if the standard bubblegum or cherry is not working out, they can do watermelon or up to something like 30 flavors - grape, lime, etc.
  10. by   Gompers
    Quote from mauxtav8r
    Also, there's a pharmacist who will mix children's medications by the flavor, so if the standard bubblegum or cherry is not working out, they can do watermelon or up to something like 30 flavors - grape, lime, etc.
    A lot of the bigger pharmacy chains (i.e. Walgreens, CVS) have that set-up now - where you literally have every flavor a kid could want to choose from. Letting the child decide what flavor he or she wants makes it a little bit of a treat for them and gives them some power. I think that's why the above poster's daughter did well with her choice of medication - because it WAS her choice to take tablets, liquid, or a shot. A little power goes a long way.
  11. by   mauxtav8r
    Right on, gompers. She knew, like the original poster's child, that this medicine was necessary, but that little element of control really helped.
  12. by   scribblerpnp
    I know it is too late to do anything about it, but could help in the future. When I write for rx for children, I will use the highest possible concentration available to decrease the amount that needs to be taken or use something that only needs to be given BID vs TID or QD vs BID. Augmenten comes in many concentrations including 600mg/5ml, which would have greatly decreased the mL your child needed (from 11.5 ml to 3.75 mL- or something close to that) It is something to consider asking about should she ever need liquid meds again. Of course, sometimes it can cost more.
  13. by   AMR21
    i babysit for a girl who takes several meds a day. Her parents found the flovors were pretty much the problem. They were so overpowering. They just add the liquid to a small ammount of VERY strong koolaid.

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