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How do you get your 3 yr old to take medication?

510 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  BusyMommy
My dd has to take liquid medication twice a day (we just started this week). She always -oh so politely- says, "no thank you, Mommy!"

If we continue to ask her nicely to take it, she continues to nicely refuse. If we push the issue, she clamps her teeth down and swats at us or runs off screaming.

I have tried asking her if she would like it mixed into something...and I have tried sneaking it into things. If she gets to choose, she only wants it in soda pop (not what I want her having twice a day). If I sneak it in, she might not get the proper dose because she is a very picky eater and might decide to eat only one or two bites of whatever I've snuck the stuff into.

Help! This is medication she is going to need long-term.
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Some parents on an autism site I frequent have made custom "candies" with their child's meds in it to get them to take it. They line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and melt chocolate chips. Pour a layer in the tray (one cube equals one dose) and let the bottom and sides dry, making a little chocolate "cup," per se. Then put the medication in, and put another layer of chocolate on top. They give their kids' medicines this way with great success.

The only other thing I can think of is cave and let her have soda for her meds, then at least she'll take them.
Our younger ds takes meds no problem because he has been on them since he was a tiny baby. Our older son hates taking them because he never needed any until he was older -- maybe like your dd.

Some tips: first, make the med taking as painless and quick as possible. Put it in an oral syringe so you can squirt it on in there in one go and it's gone. If the med will tolerate it, chill it to limit the bad taste. Second, talk with her about why she needs to take it, why her body needs it, so she understands that it's a requirement and it has a purpose. Acknowledge her dislike of it and explain why the two of you need to work out a way for her to take it. Third, offer a bribe -- one that is acceptable to you. A small spoon of ice cream afterward to take away the taste? Just a very small amount of soda pop, maybe a syringe full, and just to kill the taste? Stickers on a reward chart leading to something you and she agree is a legitimate reward? I have yet to meet a child who will not accept the ice cream bribe, and hey, it even has some food value. But kids are not all the same.

Good luck!

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We do the quick and painless method at our house, too, Fiona.
I call it squirt and run.
And definitely chill it if you can, refrigerated medicine doesn't taste nearly as nasty as room temp stuff.

I have the freak child that refuses ice cream. LMAO. I swear he can't be mine...he doesn't like thin mints either. That's just criminal. LOL.
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If she truly needs the medicine twice a day, I would put it in the soda. Period. The End. Maybe buy soda like Blue Sky --- the organic kinds are sugary, but otherwise don't have colors or weird flavors.

Our OT suggested meds given quickly in a syringe during bathtime.

Our SLP recommended mixing with whatever they will eat all of.

Drive-by meds work for us here too.

If she will take a lollipop or hard candy, you might try to see if this option is available for the med at an apothocary shop. I think they have many ways of hiding the med.

For my dd who is 5 now, I find that a syringe is better than a spoon. If she is resistant it won't spill everywhere. I ask her to open up and squirt a small bit in, swallow, squirt again. About 1 cc per squirt.

Most meds hide well in chocolate milk or a fruit smoothie. She doesn't need to know it's in there.
Mixing it in w/ one of those coffee flavor syrups might help. Mixing it in with smoothies. Is there anyway the pharmacy can flavor it? Walgreens offers this for an additional charge and you can let her choose the flavoring so she feels more empowered.

Quite frankly, the sode may go against your wishes, but that may be all you have until you figure out something else. Maybe only use a little soda. That is what I have to do w/ my dd because she is also a picky eater. I give her the medication/ liquid supplements in a sippy cup filled 1/3 of the way.

Good luck. I know it is tough.
Thanks for your replies.

She does need to take the meds - they are for her epilepsy. I rather doubt the medication comes in lollipop form, although I wish it did. It already has a cherry flavor to it...but as I said, she is a picky eater.

She has been pretty easy-going the past couple of doses with having it mixed in the soda pop. I think I will try to find some organic version.

I like the idea of making the candy, too.

Thanks again!
Which med is it? Our littlest takes Trileptal, and the dose is not huge. But it does need to be shaken well and stored carefully. Do you have a compounding pharmacist near you? They may be able to help. At one point we considered suppositories because his oral aversion was so high.

If it's a small dose, ours is 2 cc BID (twice a day), we do something like, offer a drink after just squirting the dose in, slowly but quickly, if that makes any sense at all. And then follow it with something like water or apple juice or soda. And then follow that with a spoonful of chocolate syrup or the like as a distraction.

Boy, I'm sorry.

My kids drink all their ickies straight; ie. CLO but that's b/c they've done so since before they can even remember.

I guess I'd say don't make it a battle or she'll hate it always. But, don't start a trend you don't feel comfortable keeping up; ie. soda.
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