How do you get a 2 1/2 year old to take his medicine?

Wendy - posted on 02/09/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I just found out yesterday that my son has an ear infection and he has to be on antibiotics for 14 days, 3 times a day.

Yesterday he resisted taking the medicine but mananged to bribe him with chocolate. Today he flat out refused to drink it and ended up being in time out for almost an hour. Every two minutes I would go into his room and offer the medicine to him, but he wouldn't take it. Finally, I had to pretty much force it down his throat, and even then, some of it he mananged to spit out. I don't think I can do this for another 13 days!!! Any suggestions on what has worked for you.......treats, time outs and force feeds have not worked for me!!!!!! HELP :)

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Wendy - posted on 02/09/2009

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Just wanted to thank everyone for their ideas. At lunch time, I tried letting my son hold his own syringe, but he didn't want anything to do with it, so I thought of the idea of getting my daughter to pretend that she was having to have medicine too (I got another syringe and filled it with juice). My son took the bait!!! As soon as my daughter took her medicine, he took his. Lets hope this continues to work! :)

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Tamra - posted on 02/09/2009

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Well, this may sound harsh or mean to some of the moms, but the way I looked at it when my kids were little is that I am the mom and I am the one in charge and responsible. With that attitude, I had a certain position that worked for me - headlock, hold the nose until the medicine is swallowed. Then afterward hugs & kisses & praise for taking the med. Sometimes there are just things in this life that we don't want to do, us big kids as well as our little ones. If it were me, I wouldn't "hide" it in pudding or juice or something. You can have your child watch you put it in the "treat" and if he won't take it that way, use the "headlock-nose-hold" method". Then next time, give him a choice. Tell him that he has to take the medicine, & which way would he like to take it? Like I said, it may sound "mean" but some things are important & your son needs to learn that when you say that something is an "absolute" he must do it. Some things aren't that important & can be "bartered" with, but on some things he must know that one way or the other, it's gonna happen.

BTW, my kids are now 21, 17 & 13 & I have absolutely wonderful terrific kids. My 21 yr. old is in the Philippines for 3 mos. on a mission trip, my 17 yr old just got nominated for Winter Homecoming Queen @ her hs & my 13 yr. old is in 7th grade. I ran a day care in my home for 10 years & over the years I've seen lots of moms & dads just give in to their kids when they don't want to do something & I've had the opportunity to see how those kids end up. If you give choices about everything, what if you son one day decides to run into the street & a car is coming & you say "Stop". If he knows that you don't mean what you say other times, will he actually stop?

Just something to think about.

Good luck! Ear infections are NEVER any fun - for your son OR for you!

Tina - posted on 02/09/2009

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You are not alone Wendy! We have all been through this horrible experience at this age!
Ask the pharmacist if it is ok to mix the antibiotic med with juice or milk or icecream. I used to have to make milk shakes with med mixed in. The pharmacist may also be able to change the flavor of the antibiotic to a flavor he likes more. The med does taste bad, I do not blame the kids for not liking it! Good luck. I also discovered that making my daughter hold her nose, take the med, keep holding her nose, than swallow the med worked. It is a process anyway you look at it!!

Leah - posted on 02/09/2009

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try chocolate putting or apple sause dont let him see you put it in!!! it masks the tast also try try chocolate or strawberry milk

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Why not try telling him that it's not medicine but it's super hero juice and it will make him strong and mighty.  You can use his favorite super hero or character as an example.

Wendy - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Carla:



I had the same problem with my daughter around the same age, and it was a control issue.  So at medicine time, I would sit her on the counter in front of me, and give her the syringe that was filled with the medication.  She easily put it in her mouth and drank all of the antibiotic- no problem!  All she needed was the "control" to do it, plus a high 5 and a "Great job!!"






 






Hope it works for you!






I'll give it a try at lunch time....



Thanks :)

Wendy - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Martha:

maybe you can mix it in some yogurt or even ice cream!! and let's not forget...for a very reasonable price, the pharmacy can add flavors. and never forget the advantages of positive reinforcement. bragging on him for taking it or a big hug and praise, goes so much further than negative reinforcement for not taking the meds. my mom used to have my favorite drink waiting for me for when i did take my meds, to wash that nasty taste down. and she was patient with me and allowed me to take very small amounts at a time, then drink, then some more, then drink...til it was all gone. then she would hug and smile and praise. i felt really special.

i hope it helps and i hope your son is better very soon.



the pharmacy made his medicine taste like banana. I even tasted a little on my finger and it really isn't that bad. My son loves chocolate so I have a chocolate kiss waiting for him when he is done his medicine but it doesn't help. I have given him LOTS of praise when he finally does take his medicine, but it is soon forgotten when he has to take the medicine 6 hours later.



The thing about mixing in the medicine with something else makes me nervous in case he doesn't eat or drink what I have mixed it in. This is an antibotic I am giving him for an ear infection.



The medicine also has to be kept cold so it has to be taken almost immediately.

Martha - posted on 02/09/2009

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maybe you can mix it in some yogurt or even ice cream!! and let's not forget...for a very reasonable price, the pharmacy can add flavors. and never forget the advantages of positive reinforcement. bragging on him for taking it or a big hug and praise, goes so much further than negative reinforcement for not taking the meds. my mom used to have my favorite drink waiting for me for when i did take my meds, to wash that nasty taste down. and she was patient with me and allowed me to take very small amounts at a time, then drink, then some more, then drink...til it was all gone. then she would hug and smile and praise. i felt really special.

i hope it helps and i hope your son is better very soon.

Frances - posted on 02/09/2009

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Speak to your GP about changing the medication.  Recently my son had a toe infection that needed to be treated with antibiotics but Oliver hated it.  He refused point blank to take it, so I called up the GP and told them the story and they changed the medicine to something with not as strong a flavour.  We also requested one that could be taken twice rather than three times a day.

Wendy - posted on 02/09/2009

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Unfortunately I cannot hide the medicine in something. It is an antibotic that tastes like banana....you would think he would like it since he loves bananas!!!



I have tried forcing him down but he just holds the medicine in his mouth and spits it out.



It is very stressful because I am trying to be calm when I attempt to give it to him so as not to tramatize him (since I still have a little under two weeks left/ three times a day to administer this to him), but after 45 minutes of struggling, it is not that easy.



 

Carol - posted on 02/09/2009

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I use the seringe method, and I would actually let Jason do the whole thing. I hold the bottle while he put the seringe in the bottle and pulls up the plunger, he then puts it in his own mouth and plungers. Because his 'is such a big boy' he can do it himself!

Frances - posted on 02/09/2009

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My son is 61/2 and we still struggle to get him to take medicine orally. He has Type 1 Diabetes and does his finger pricks himself and sits quite still to have an injection, but when it comes to swallowing medicine (or brushing his teeth!) you would think we were trying to murder him.  What we've found  worked the best is putting water in the syringe and letting him squirt that in his mouth to get used to it and then it would put then end of the syringe against the fridge and press against it until it squirted into his mouth.  He still likes to do this now but we still have a few arguments before he succumbs.  If this doesn't work and you have to force it try doing what I've done.  Sit down on the floor with him between your legs and place his arms underneath your legs. That way he can't grab at it, and his head is also secure so he can't move it around.  Don't squirt the medicine in too fast though as he could choke.  I also suggest that you tuck a towel over him and under his chin to avoid any spills.  This is also very good for putting in eyedrops.  It was suggested by a childcare worker that used to care for my son when he was young.  Good luck.

Mary - posted on 02/09/2009

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Does he like applesauce...I found that works and hides the taste of the medicine..

Aimee - posted on 02/09/2009

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I put ibuprofen or tylenol in a little bit of oj, she will usually drink it right up.



Does it have a strong flavor to it?

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