"How Can I Get My Child to Take Medicine?"

As a community pharmacist I get asked this question at least once per day, by frustrated parents. The fact is, there is no 'one size sits all' solution. Medications come in different forms, liquid syrups, tablets, caplets, suppositories etc.. and different strengths and different flavours. Just like our children have different tastes, we need to choose the right medication based on what we are treating and also what we can realistically get our child to take. Where one child likes the orange flavoured syrup medication, the next child may only take tablets.

As parents our objective is to get our children to take their medicine as easily and as hassle free as possible.

Panadol & Neurofen

Pain and Fever Relief - Paracetamol and Ibuprofen

Panadol (paracetamol) comes as a chewable tablet (which is raspberry flavoured), a soluble tablet (which almost tastes like lemon soft drink once dissolved) and a suppository, which if all else fails you can use.

Advil (ibuprofen) has a chewable tablet, which tastes almost like a fruit tingle lolly and is a funky blue colour, that appeals to many children because it looks like a lolly. Ibuprofens taste is also not as bitter as paracetamol and this can help.

Claratyne & Zyrtec

Allergies - Antihistamines

Zyrtec comes in a concentrated liquid form, where your child just has to pop their tongue out and get their dosage in tiny drops.

Claratyne has a syrup and also makes a chewable tablet that is a very exciting purple colour, which also appeals to many children and has quite a nice grape flavour to it as well.

Tips and Tricks Have I Used On My Own Children

  • Use Fun Straws and Spoons - A medication syringe or cup can be intimidating to a child. Sometimes just making it fun will do the trick. We have a selection of fun colourful straws and spoons in our kitchen drawer and even a few loop the loop straws to really step up the fun factor.
  • Using a smaller dose of a medication can often make taking the medicine easier. Smaller tablets make for easier swallowing. Often children's medications are the same or similar to the adult versions. With proper calculation by a trained pharmacist, a reduced size adult dose can sometimes be used based on a child's weight.

Don’t forget that if all else fails, and your child is unwell, it is important to visit your nearest health care professional to seek medical advice.

If you would like further information please feel free to contact us, at ThePharmacy by submitting a question or calling us on 02 9569 4056 (+61 2 9569 4056).

Your Pharmacist
Christine Kelly

B Pharm, MPS

This is general advice, please consult your Pharmacist or Doctor
for more specific medical advice and medication dosages.
If there is a medical emergency please call you local emergency services immediately.