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DS 3 refuses to take oral medication. Anyone managed to convince a determined toddler to take medicine?

(20 Posts)
FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 11:26:12

my DS is three and has always refused to take medicine orally; he will spit or vomit it out, thrashes about like a wild thing if we try to force it on him. I've tried disguising it in food or drink to no avail; I've tried different flavors, bribery, reading books about little bears who took their medicine, I've even tried reasoning with him smile and nothing has worked. I have been able to convince him to have paracetamol pessaries (thankfully, but they're no fun to administer and I can't see others like his granny or nursery teachers loving it!) but for other medications, oral medicine is the only option, so I'd love to hear success stories of those who've fought this battle and won smile

Beamur Sun 04-Sep-11 11:27:38

Bribery works for me.
Medicine in one hand, packet of buttons in the other - you can have this if you take this has always worked for us - sounds like your chap has other ideas!

FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 11:43:29

He sure knows what he knows beanie grin. If only buttons were the answer!

FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 11:44:39

[Beamur] (damn predictive text) hmm

FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 11:45:41

Beamur. aaaargh!!!!!

HoneyPablo Sun 04-Sep-11 11:49:18

Use a syringe to squirt in his mouth while pinching his nose. He will have to swallow.
Or if you don't want to be that brutal, let him take control. Let him help pour out the medicine and hold the spoon.
Or get someone else to give it to him- it's amazing what children will do for other people. I am a nursery nurse and parents say all the time that their child is difficult when taking medicine, but they take it no bother when at nursery.

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 11:51:18

Looks like my idea isn't going to help either then - when DS was really quite unwell with a viral infection, he needed to take medicine 6 times a day (calpol alternating with calprofen) and he rebelled. Up until that point he'd been reasonable at taking it via syringe - but he wasn't having any of it. I had to put it into his most favourite drink, that he's normally only sparingly allowed, and even that was hard but got it down him.
His favourite drink is ginger ale with ice cubes - so that's what he had (not a lot each time but it had to all go down).

But you say you've tried that already to no avail. sad
Have you asked him why he won't take it? Has he a reason other than "don't like it"?

lels99 Sun 04-Sep-11 11:51:49

I used to tell my daughter it was a sweetie, was theonly way she would take it. Unfortunately she now asks for it when she doesnt need it!

mousymouse Sun 04-Sep-11 12:00:08

ds hates oral solution medicines other than calpol or nurofen hmm
I usually ask for the capsules, break them open and mix with nutella or peanut butter. maybe that could work for you? for things like paracetamol you would need to meaure carefully though to not overdose.

seeker Sun 04-Sep-11 12:02:21


FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 12:03:59

thumbwitch he just doesn't like it and there's no convincing him. Eg I tried mixing it with a new exciting yogurt - Bob the Builder, heavenly stuff (boak) - and he ate it once, figured out what I was up to, and now won't go near Bob the B yogurts at all!
honey he refuses with his favorite nursery teacher too sad which is a pain as he has food allergies that sometimes require an oral antihistamine. He'd be so much happier if he wasn't itchy, and he DOES understand the cause and effect of medication=feeling better, but still refuses it hmm

seeker Sun 04-Sep-11 12:05:31

Unless it's a vital prescription medication, I rake the like that I'd they are feisty enough to resist, they probably don't need it. There are loads if ways of dealing with a raised temperature that don't involve medicine.

FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 12:06:52

mousy I like your idea. DS can't have nuts though (allergic)- gah!! Must think of similar-but-different foodstuffs.....

FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 12:09:17

seeker he actually does have to take prescription stuff for asthma, allergy etc, and I think anything that lowers a high temperature is vital (thankfully I have the up the bottom solution for that)!

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 12:24:50

Can he have cheese, Fivebells? I know you said he can eat yoghurt but that doesn't necessarily mean he can have cheese - but if he can, you could try hiding it in the cheese? When I was young I couldn't swallow pills at all, unless they were in a cheese sandwich. (I still have troubles now but have learnt to manage).

If it's a liquid then have you tried the syringe suggestion? It's bloody hard to do actually, when they're squirming especially when your DH seems to think that if he doesn't like it we shouldn't bother, despite his raging temperature, because it's too much like fecking hard work for him hmm

Daft question - what's he like with jabs? Is there any antihistamine available in jab form, could you coerce him with the threat of that?

FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 12:49:39

thumbwitch he loves cheese but it's the flavor that I need to be able to mask, and maybe cheese won't be strong enough to do that? Syringes don't work, he spits it back. don't know about antihistamine jabs - years ago in Thailand I used a fab topical antihistamine cream, but it's not available here, not even by prescription! If only I'd had the foresight all those years ago to stock up big in Bankok grin

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 13:52:49

I wonder if ear drops would be an answer? I don't even know if you can get antihistamine ear drops - you'd need to ask your GP or the pharmacist - and if they exist, whether they'd work systemically or not.

The useful thing about cheese, I found (for myself) was that I could just swallow it without chewing too hard, so never tasted the pill or even knew it was there.
I remember well the time I thought "sod it, I'll just suck it till it's gone" - argh!! never again - but knowing what they tasted like, I still didn't ever notice it in cheese.

FiveBells Sun 04-Sep-11 14:03:04

Interesting thumbwitch, I shall look into the eardrop idea. I'll try the cheese thing too, he loves philly cream cheese so much he'd inhale it if he could

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 14:06:11

aha! if he inhales it then it'll be down before he notices the pill! grin
Try it whole as well, so it's only one lump - and if you could maybe mix something else lumpy in there with it so it's just another lump, that might help too. smile One lump is less noticeable than gritty bits and less likely to flavour the cheese.

seaweed74 Sun 04-Sep-11 20:16:33

Hi. I was recently nanny to a 3 yr old girl who was same as your DS about oral meds. Break through came with calprofen when she witnessed my 2 year old DD screaming the house down having meds!!! As the 3 yr old thought she was a big girl and my DD a baby think she got bit of a wake up call. Now the girl will administer syringe of calprofen, not keen on calpol but can be persuaded to swallow that too.

No luck with penicillin though. Her GP refused to prescribe pills instead even when her mum explained the problem, so liquid was mixed with large amount of peanut butter and honey and served before a meal!!! Not quite the empty stomach, before food demanded, but only solution. The girl helped prepare mixture and was consulted on what would be used to hide meds.

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