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Helping the Medicine Go Down
A Few Tricks of the Trade

Research by the Content Manager
Getting a child to take his medicine is a lot easier said than done. Here are a few tricks that can help.
The first step is to make sure you're giving the correct dose. Your kitchen measuring spoons may not be accurate enough for children's medicine, so ask your pharmacist about special dosing cups, spoons and oral syringes for measuring medications. If a medication comes with a special dispenser, make sure to use it.
When using an oral dosing syringe be sure to point the end toward the side of your child's mouth. This allows you to put the medicine in an area of his mouth with few taste buds. It will make it harder for him to spit it out, and helps prevent choking. Avoid putting any medicine directly on his tongue. If your child hates the taste of his medicine, make sure to have a glass of his favorite drink on hand to wash it down. Or, you can try concealing the medicine's taste by mixing the proper dose in a spoonful of something soft, like applesauce, chocolate pudding, honey, or jam that can slip easily down his throat. But don't put the medicine in a liquid. It will sink to the bottom or stick to the sides of the glass or bottle - making it hard to give your child a complete dose. Sometimes even hiding the taste of a medicine won't work. With an older child you can try a little persuasion. Promise him some candy or other treat if he'll take his medicine. If you've tried it all, and still can't get your child to take his medicine (or if he spits it out), call your doctor. And remember, for medications to work best you should follow your doctor's instructions exactly.

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