Giving medicine to a young one.

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Rolzup
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24 Dec 2011, 1:56 pm

Youngest has an ear infection. VERY painful, with much screaming and crying and clutching his ears.

We've got to give him an antibiotic twice a day. Amoxicillin oral suspension; "bubble gum" flavored.

Bet you can see our problem already....

We got him to try it; he didn't like it. He was licking my shirt to get the taste out of his mouth, he hated it so much, and was walking around trying to spit the flavor out and rubbing his tongue.

We tried mixing it with applesauce. This changed the color fractionally, and he was not fooled.

We mixed it with ice cream. Even less fooled.

Suggested mixing it with milk, but he hates milk even under normal circumstances.

We tried bribery. It wasn't enough, and he still refused.

I tried to explain that it will make the pain in his ears stop, but he just didn't care/understand what I was telling him.

We can and will pin him down and squirt the stuff down his throat if we have to. I'm a little worried about this triggering his gag reflex, but not unduly so. But if we have to do that, NOBODY is going to enjoy the process. He calms down fairly quickly afterwards, but we'd really rather avoid goign through this if there's any way around it.

Any tricks that one of you might have used in the past?



Angel_ryan
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24 Dec 2011, 2:02 pm

I had to be pinned down by my parents until I eventually realized that the stuff was saving me from a lot worse agony. I had a lot of ear infections so I became used to it and took it without trouble when I became slightly older. It might end up being a phase because he is so young, once your finally able to get him to understand it helps he might be more co-operative. I don't think you should feel too bad about needing to be forceful. I don't hold any grudges against my parents for that kind of thing. If anything I feel sorry for them.



seekingtruth
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24 Dec 2011, 2:07 pm

Just be really careful if you force it down, make sure you squeeze the dropper into the back of his cheek to avoid choking and aspiration (might not be the right word, I think that's what I remember the doc saying, anyway what can happen is the liquid can go down the windpipe and into the lungs if forced straight down the throat) - that's what our doc's told us when our son was a baby anyway and it made sense.

you could also tell the pharm. that he absolutely won't take it and ask if they have another flavor, it's possible that it's the bubble gum flavor that he's so aversive to, some kids really hate that flavor.


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OliveOilMom
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24 Dec 2011, 2:31 pm

How old is he?

With mine, they always hated to take medicine. We would have to get the little syringe and squirt it in their mouths. Yes, we had to hold them down, and like another poster said, put it between the teeth and cheek and only squirt a very small amount at a time in. It may take a while to get it all down, but it's better than having it spit out.

Don't feel bad if you have to do it that way, you are doing it for the health of your child. It's better to make them mad a little over that if you have to, than it is to let an infection fester.

One thing that we did with ours, for ear infections, was garlic oil. We would put a couple of drops in each ear and rub behind the ear to get it down in there. It actually worked as well as an antibiotic on ours, and eventually we even stopped going to the dr for ear infections and used the garlic oil. I had bought an otoscope and you can look and see every day or so as the infection clears up and the eardrum looks healthy again.

I know it's a heart wrenching feeling to hold your child down and squirt medicine into them, but they get over it fairly quickly. With my oldest, what was worse was when his baby teeth got loose. Sometimes they would get so loose that they would be hanging by a thread and it was a choking hazard. He wouldn't pull it or let us pull it, so at times we had to hold him down and pull it out gently with a wash cloth. We only did that when it was so loose that we were afraid he would choke on it though. Sometimes parents have to do things that are unpleasant.

I always thought that they should make candy flavored gummy candies with medicine in them. I think with just a little effort they could do that. It doesn't seem that the pharm companies really care that much about making it easier to give medicine to kids, does it?


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24 Dec 2011, 2:33 pm

Also, one more thing. One of ours would NOT take medicine at all. Luckily he was not allergic to pennicillin, and we were able to just get him one shot at the doctors office. He truly hated those, but it was a one time thing then over with and the lesser of two evils it seemed.

Can you ask your doctor if they can just give him a shot instead of the medicine?


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24 Dec 2011, 2:48 pm

Depending on his age, you may do better with a powder that can mix in foods he likes. Mine always resisted the liquids, and learned how to take pills early just to avoid it.



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24 Dec 2011, 2:55 pm

We had to do the holding down thing-she would usually choke or spit it out.

We finally got a special cup for pills. So she is much better with pills than liquid.

Is there a special drink (like coke?) he is not allowed to have? If so, get a bottle of coke and tell him he can only drink it to wash down the liquid medicine. Give the liquid medicine in small doses (just a few ml's at a time) and allow him to take a big drink of coke to swish it in his mouth and wash it down.



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24 Dec 2011, 3:13 pm

Sometimes it just doesn't get any better. My youngest is 15, and all my kids can swallow pills but getting them to actually take one is always a hassle.

An example; my 16yo son is on Vyvanse for ADHD. He takes a 20mg one at 5am when I get up. I wake him up and give it to him, then let him sleep until 6. That way it's already working when he gets up and mornings go smoother. Getting him to actually TAKE IT at 5am is the hassle. He always tries "just put it over there on the table and I'll take it in a minute". Done that, no he won't. I have to pull the covers off, turn on the light, sometimes I have to physically sit him up in bed and fuss at him to take it. He always yells at me. Every morning it's "GOD MOM! ARE YOU SATISFIED? THERE! I TOOK IT!"

He's mad for a minute, then goes back to sleep. It really helps him get ready for school on time now though, so I deal with the fussing out of him.

Even my girls don't want to take medicine when sick. I have to stand over them and remind them to take it please, now. They do, and they don't like it. Even though it has no bad taste.


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24 Dec 2011, 4:54 pm

When my son was a baby I actually asked my GP if the nurse could show me how to inject my son because that would be preferable to trying to get medicine down his throat! That wasn't allowed, but instead he prescribed pessaries ( is that the word?) which I pushed into his anus. My now ex- husband refused to take anything to do with it, bur it was so much easier than the usual method. Did that till he was about 3 years old, then he decided to take off a spoon.

Amoxicillin is that yellow stuff, isn't it? And it stains - carpets, upholstery, clothes ....



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25 Dec 2011, 12:54 am

My kids never liked taking meds, but my two oldest were especially bad. My oldest was on constant antibiotics (I forget the name of that, but she had to be on them because of a condition she had). Anyway, we always had to pin her down. We would use the syringes and it was always a fight. It did not matter what the taste was. Eventually, we allowed her to give it to herself. It was amazing. No fights. We would just put the med in the syringe and she would take it when she was ready. She just wanted to be the on in control.

Now, my middle girl has taste sensitivities. She would fight, spit, gag, and she refused to take it herself... until one day when she developed bronchial pneumonia. The dr gave her two shots in the butt AND antibiotics to take orally to boot. Every time she would fight the oral meds, we would ask her if she wanted a butt shot instead. She always took the med. Eventually, she just learned to take the pills. We showed her how to with M&Ms. They also have mini M&Ms that help a lot with the smaller pills. For some reason, my youngest didn't give us any trouble with meds. She even started taking pills at about 2ish.


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Last edited by GreatSphinx on 25 Dec 2011, 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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25 Dec 2011, 3:49 am

Bubble gum flavor what?

When I had ear infections they gave me drops to put in my ears. I never had to take bubble gum whatever. This is new to me.

Have you ever tried drops before?



seekingtruth
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25 Dec 2011, 9:41 am

OliveOilMom wrote:

I always thought that they should make candy flavored gummy candies with medicine in them. I think with just a little effort they could do that. It doesn't seem that the pharm companies really care that much about making it easier to give medicine to kids, does it?


They can, but they don't due to the possibility of kids overdosing. They run a higher risk the better the medicine tastes. My brother and I drank a bottle of dimetapp when we were little because we liked the grape flavor, mom had to take us to the ER. Scary.

Now I see there is an adult vitamin in a gummy, I think that's dangerous, my 6 year old would gobble those down if we had them in the house and I believe it's not safe to take too much vitamins in one sitting, especially a kid taking those meant for an adult.


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26 Dec 2011, 12:53 pm

It was very difficult to get my younger son to start taking his meds.

He finally started taking them because his older brother is on meds, and he wanted to be just like his brother.

Sometimes, it would help to tell him no computer until he took his meds or pooped in the potty or whatever behavior was desired.

One guy that I know of would make home-made popscicles with meds inside.

I have heard of some locally owned pharmacies (not big chain pharmacies) offering to put the meds in gummy form, for a price.

Sometimes, I had success with the younger one by asking that the med be given in the non-flavored pill form, then smashing the pill into a fine powder and placing it inside of an Oreo cookie.

Thank goodness he just started taking the meds like he was supposed to.


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Rolzup
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26 Dec 2011, 9:26 pm

Pandora_Box wrote:
Bubble gum flavor what?

When I had ear infections they gave me drops to put in my ears. I never had to take bubble gum whatever. This is new to me.

Have you ever tried drops before?


This also requires holding him down; it's even less pleasant than trying to get something down his throat, as it involves holding him still for longer.

So, yeah, we've been doing the pinning and squirting. It hasn't been fun for everyone, I'm fairly sure that I nearly lost a finger this morning, and Youngest has very strong feelings (I didn't even know that the word "Disgusting" was part of his vocabulary, or that he could say it with such PASSION) about how awful the whole affair is....

But he recovers quickly, at least. Five minutes after, with a bit of chocolate ("Emmy-emms") to get the taste out of his mouth he's back to his normal cheerful self.

My finger still hurts, though.



zette
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26 Dec 2011, 9:44 pm

There might be a way for the pharmacist to put the medicine in a pill form. Then you just have to teach him to swallow pills!

Here's a site with great techniques, some of them describe how to get kids to take liquid meds:
How to swallow pills

My son was hospitalized for 10 days with pneumonia, and when he was finally well enough to come home, the antibiotics they sent home were so nasty he threw them up every time. We taught him to swallow pills using smarties, and put his antibiotics in gel caps.



zette
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26 Dec 2011, 11:19 pm

One trick that helps us with liquid medicine is to count backward as it is going in. DS picks the number to use, and as I squeeze it in I count loudly, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1". We practiced with syringes of grape juice first, and sometimes alternated between a syringe of medicine and one of grape juice. Also, we might just do half of the syringe at a time, then have a drink of juice and a bite of cookie before going on to the rest. The key is to give DS some control over how much goes in and how fast.