Thursday, October 06, 2005

Getting the medicine in the child! Some Tips!

Tips for giving medicines to children!
There are many reasons why children will not take medicines, they don't like the taste, they are too unwell and irritable to be co-operative or just because they can say NO! As a result, parents have to be really creative to get the medicines down the throat of their children.
Here are some helpful tips:
Mask the taste: Sweet tasting foods may help, common things that may work are grape & apple juice, sometimes orange juice maybe used for slightly bitter medicines. Remember NOT to get too anxious and do not mix the medicine in large quantities since the child may not consume the entire contents of the juice.
Avoid the bitter taste buds by giving the medicines in the cheek pouch (with a dropper)
Children make decisions about medicine based on what it looks like. Changing the color of the medicine with food coloring may help get it down the child.
Mouth dissolving tablets can be more convenient and give the child less chance to throw up.
If your feverish kid throws up whatever he swallows or refuses to take medicine at all, find out whether the medication is available in suppository form (now Paracetamol and Domperidone is available in India in rectal form too!). The dosage is based on a child's weight, but always check with your pediatrician before administering.
Is your child a Lion King fan? Get some Simba stickers, draw a jungle scene on a piece of paper, and let him attach a sticker each time he swallows a dose. It's even more effective if your pediatrician participates: When your child has finished all his medication, he can bring his completed artwork along on his follow-up visit to the doctor as proud proof of his accomplishment.
Let the child hold the cupful of medicine, allowing him a sense of control helps. One pediatrician puts her toddler twins' medicine into toy teacups, enabling them to take it on their own.
In a crisis, call your doctor and ask if you can substitute another type of medicine. For instance, you may be able to obtain a better-tasting antibiotic made by a different company. Sometimes, the brand-name version of a drug has a more pleasant taste; in other cases, the generic is preferable. Often, a child may actually dislike the consistency of a medicine, not the taste; in this instance, a thicker or thinner liquid may do the trick.
Promise a party/ treat when the child gets well, and tell her that by not taking the medicine the party is going to get late.
However while trying to get in the medicine do remember these tips:
1. In general, medicine isn't absorbed as quickly when it's paired with solid food or milk, but if this is the only way you can get your child to take the medicine, it's fine.
Some exceptions: penicillin G and erythromycin lose their potency when mixed with acidic foods like orange juice, or soda.
2. Check with your pharmacist to make sure it's okay to crush a tablet. Some medications may irritate the stomach if you destroy the protective coating, or they may fail to do the job they're meant to do.
3. Don't freeze the medicine or warm it up to make it more palatable. Temperature changes may alter the efficacy of the medication.
4. Don't call the medicine candy. Emphasize to your child that you are giving him medicine, not a treat. And store all medications out of sight and reach.
5. If you can't convince your little one to cooperate, let your doctor know he isn't getting the prescribed medication.
Lots of help from: website