Giving Medicine to Children


When our kids need medicine it isn’t always
easy to get them to take it, especially when they’re feeling sick and cranky. So how
do we deliver the dose without the battle? Hi, I’m Benjamin Ortiz. I’m a dad and
a Pediatrician at FDA. A smile can be contagious … So for starters, be cheerful and patient.
And don’t forget that your kids are smart. So explain in language they understand what’s
wrong and how the medicine will make them better. If taste is the problem, try giving them a
popsicle, a cold drink, or even an ice cube right after they swallow their medicine, because
cold temperatures numb our taste buds. And pinching your child’s nose while they
take their medicine may help block both taste and smell. You can even let them do this themselves. Restoring your child’s sense of control
like this can really help. Other ways to do this include letting your child decide where
to take their medicine, and even letting them put it into their own mouth. If your child thinks liquid medicine is yucky,
ask your doctor or pharmacist about alternatives. Many liquid medicines are available in different
flavors. And if it comes in a pill, ask if there’s a pill your child can chew. Mixing medicine with something tasty — like
applesauce or pudding — may help. But unless the label indicates that mixing is ok, this
is discouraged because it might reduce the medicine’s effectiveness. Read the directions
carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist before mixing medicine directly with food. And remember that a little TLC goes a long
way. For more about kids and medicine, go to fda.gov/pediatrics

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