Kick the Ick! 6 Medication Administration Methods for Kids

As parents, we all know how stressful it can be when our kids get sick. Between the stress of juggling work, parenthood, keeping up with a social life, and doctor’s appointments, getting a sick child to take their medicine can seem like an insurmountable task. Luckily, there are a few secret hacks that can help parents kick the ick sooner by making medication time fun and easy for their kids!

Medication Administration Methods for Kids

1. What They do not Know Won’t Hurt Them

While we certainly do not condone lying to your children or administering any harmful substances in this way, sometimes things are better left unsaid when it comes to administering medication to sick children. Although this may not work for medications that have a noticeable taste or color, some medications can easily be camouflaged in your child’s favorite meal for a simple and easy way to administer meds. Check out some of these snacks options that are perfect for hiding medications:

  • Applesauce
  • Ice cream
  • Peanut butter
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit juice
  • Chocolate syrup

2. Opt for Flavored Medications

Over the years, parents and their pediatricians have been searching for the best ways for children to take medication to keep them happy and healthy. Nowadays, medications often come in a variety of flavors including cherry, orange, grape, apple, and more in an attempt to disguise the bitter flavor of most prescription meds. In addition to commercially available flavors, parents may also opt for enlisting the help of a pediatric compounding pharmacy that specializes in making medications palatable for children.

Medication Administration Methods for Kids

3. Consider the Formulation

One of the most important factors to consider when administering medication to children is the formulation of that medication. Most medications come in a variety of forms including oral liquid, tablets, capsules, and more. Some of the most popular formulations for administering medications to kids include:

  • Oral liquid
  • Flavored tablets
  • Dissolvable granules
  • Oral tablets or capsules
  • Chewable flavored tablets

If you are looking for the best way to administer a certain medication to your child, having a discussion with your pediatrician can go a long way. Your doctor or pharmacist should be able to advise you on all the different formulations that each medication is available in so that you can choose one that works for you and your family.

4. Explain Why it is Important

We often forget that children are independent beings that sometimes just need something explained to them in order to understand it better. Depending on the age of your child and their ability to comprehend the information given to them, simply explaining the importance of taking medication can prove enough to garner compliance from your child. This method also teaches them an important life lesson that honesty is always the best policy when it comes to communication.

5. Give Rewards for Taking Medication

One of the easiest ways to get children to take their medication is to reward them with a small gift after taking medicine. This positive reinforcement method will make kids feel accomplished and proud of their excellent work which will keep them coming back for more next time. For parents worried that this method may spoil their kids, the rewards do not have to be a grand, extravagant gesture. Rewards can be anything your child enjoys and can be as small as a sticker or a lollipop to a simple movie night at home with their favorite film on the tv.

6. Fool the Tongue

In addition to adding medications to different types of food to try and hide the medication, there are several ways parents can cover up the flavor of medications without deceiving their children. Just like Mary Poppins’ spoonful of sugar, using something sweet to cover up the taste of medicine is a great way to administer medications that are fun for kids. One of the easiest ways to fool the tongue is by giving your child a popsicle before it is time for their medicine. In addition to adding a sweet flavor, the temperature of the popsicle will provide some numbing that makes the taste of medication more bearable.

Administering medication on time and at the appropriate doses is vital to the overall health of a child. The path of parenthood is rarely an easy one, but by following these simple tips and tricks, parents can ensure their kids receive their medications in a timely manner while also relieving some of the stress involved when it comes to medicating kids.

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