Practical Tips for Giving Medicines to Kids

With a little creativity, parents & caregivers can make their children’s medicine times an easier experience for themselves as well as their children.  If you are confident, kind and firm about medicine taking, you are setting a solid foundation for the future so that children can learn from you the importance of taking medicines correctly. 

Some practical tips you can try include:

  • You could squirt the medicine from the syringe onto the inside cheek where there are no bitter taste buds.  Usually a baby will swallow if the syringe is far enough back in the mouth.
  • Reverse psychology – tell your child it’s a special medicine and they’re only allowed to have it twice/three times a day – it’s amazing how often this works and makes the child eager to take it!
  • Teddy or Dolly may need a pretend dose of medicine too J
  • Toddlers may enjoy sucking up the medicine through a straw, but remember to follow with water or juice to make sure the whole dose is taken.
  • For nasty tasting doses, let your child suck on an ice block to numb the taste buds just before the medicine dose.
  • Try not to call the medicine a treat – instead you could allow a sweet “chaser” as the treat for afterwards, such as a drink of juice or flavoured milk.

If you think your child has had too much of a dose, you can phone 0800 POISON (0800 764 766), or check with your Pharmacist.  We’re here to help.