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Getting Children to take Medicine

Article posted on Sunday, July, 18th, 2010 at 8:00 am

As parent, getting your children to take medicine can be really difficult.  While we were at Greenville Children’s Hospital, Neely, became so fearful of what was going to happen when a doctor or nurse walked in the room that getting her to willingly participate in any exam or take any meds was almost impossible. (Dr. Morales, of course, was the exception to this rule. Neely loved him from the beginning and has never once been afraid.  She says, “Dr. Morales is the doctor that doesn’t hurt me, mom.”)

She would cover her face with her arm or with covers and just begin to cry.  It broke my heart.  But at the same time, I knew that taking her meds was not optional.  She needed them to survive.  After a lot of trial and error, we finally discovered chocolate milk (very chocolatey chocolate milk) would hide the taste of almost anything.   In some cases, it took an entire class of chocolate milk because the quantity of meds that needed to be mixed in.  As long as she finished the glass within one hour of starting it, her doctors and nurses were comfortable with using this method.

It was a lot less traumatic for Neely. In fact, because she likes chocolate milk so much, she thought of it as a treat.  We were pretty sneaky in those early days.  We always made sure that Neely never actually saw us mix in the medicine.  But after about 6 months of our hide-n-seek medicine antics, we discovered that Neely was on to us.  I’m not sure how long she had known, but one day she just said, “Mom, Can I mix the medicine in?”

I just looked at her Dad and laughed.  She was growing up so fast.  Eventually we started offering the medicine dropper to her and eventually she started taking it on her own.  We use these great syringes to administer her meds.  They are small, perfect for little hands, and have stoppers for the end that make them easy to travel with.

Unfortunately we haven’t been able to find these syringes in a store (for purchase) but we are able to get them from the hospital pharmacy. (If anyone knows where to find them – I’d love to know where.)

She calls them her “lever” and doesn’t mind them at all.  Such a brave little girl that is growing up so fast.

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