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How To Get Kids to Take Medicine: 6 Tips to Make it Easier

Written by Ally Streelman

NowRx Pharmacy

When we were growing up, we didn’t like taking medicine, either, so it’s no wonder our kids don’t like to take it too. But as parents, it can be frustrating when we can’t get our kids to take the medicine we know they need.

As with many things in parenthood, learning how to get kids to take medicine is a process.

Here are a few tips that may help.

How To Get Kids to Take Medicine

Here are 6 tips we hope will help get your kids to take their medicine.

1. Model the behavior

A great way to teach your kid to take medicine is to normalize it. In other words, let them watch you take the medicine first. Whether you’re taking vitamins or medication, take it at the same time that your child needs to take their medicine.

For any child who regularly partakes in “monkey-see, monkey-do,” this tactic can work seamlessly. Plus, it can help you manage multiple medications more easily

2. Help them understand how medicine works

If your child is old enough to reason with, explain how the medicine will make them feel better. Even toddlers are old enough to understand this concept.

Many kids want to learn the “why” behind any action before they’re willing to do it. When they know how it will benefit them, they may be more likely to take it willingly. 

3. Pick a flavor they like

If you want to know how to get a toddler to take medicine, make it taste good! Just like Flinstone gummies make taking vitamins delicious, many children’s medicines come in fruity flavors that make taking them more enjoyable.

If you have options, let your child pick out their favorite flavor, or pick one you know they like. Your pharmacist may also be able to add a flavor to prescription medicine. This is a good option to ask them about if your child doesn’t like the taste. 

4. Make it taste better

Not all medications come in flavors, and even the ones that do, like kids’ cough medicine, don’t always hide the medicinal taste. Nevertheless, there are ways to make some medications taste better. For instance, you can crush up a tablet and stir it into their favorite breakfast or pour the contents into a glass of orange juice.

However, make sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this route since some medications need to be taken whole.

For those medications, there are some easy alternatives such as tucking the pill into a sliver of jello that can easily slide down your child’s throat, chasing the medicine with a sip of chocolate milk, or swallowing it with a spoonful of something else yummy.  

5. Let them track their progress

For kids that are motivated by rewards, a visual tracker may encourage them to take their medicine. Hang a calendar in their room or on the fridge and grant them a sticker every time they successfully take their meds to place on their calendar.

This can make taking their medicine a fun and rewarding experience. Plus, it can increase consistent adherence, which is important for proper treatment. 

6. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist

Your doctor and pharmacist are experts in the world of medicine, including over-the-counter medications. If you’re having trouble getting your kids to take medicine, enlist their help.

They may be able to suggest medicine that typically tastes better, a tablet if a syrup or pill isn’t working, or a medicine that can be taken less frequently so you don’t have to encounter a tantrum four times a day. 

When you follow these tips, you can hopefully find a tactic that makes getting your kids to take medicine quick and painless. And for busy moms, we know this is important. Make it even easier on yourself by getting your family’s medications delivered with NowRx.


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