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How to give medicine to a wilful toddler!
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#1 katymac

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

DS has ear and throat infections, and has been put on 2.5mL amoxicillin, three times per day for 10 days, and Nurofen for the pain, every 6-8 hours or so.

On the advice of a friend, we've been mixing the amoxicillin into a small bottle of milk and giving it to him morning, noon and evening, and it's been relatively easy.

However, the Nurofen is another story.  We've tried "hiding" it in food and drink, squirting it with a syringe into his cheek.  No go.  He spits it out, clamps his jaw shut, and I swear he can even smell it and refuses the food it's mixed with.  He doesn't trust anything fruity flavoured.  We have to pin him down to attempt to administer it, and it's distressing for all involved - he's very strong and fights like a trooper.  Most of the time, it's wasted entirely, because we can't get the whole dose in (it's only a 2.5mL dose for the Nurofen, too!).  

Any suggestions?  He's not sleeping well because he's in pain - I just wish he could understand that the medicine would help him feel better. sad.gif

#2 livvie7586

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

how old OP?  from 2 there are chewable tablets (although i'm assuming your child is younger)

Otherwise, other then holding him down (i used to have to chuck DS's dummy in after the tiniest squirt to get him to swallow), there really isn't much you can do for a child who really doesn't like medicine.  Luckily once you're getting AB's into them the other symptoms disappear fairly quickly (as in they bounce back quickly), and sometimes you have to ride it out until then (you can also get suppositories if it gets too bad)

DS was so bad pead nurses couldn't get medicine into him, and unless he was extremely ill, i used to try to avoid medicating him

#3 tintoela

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

Bribery?  I would give dd a sticker or a treat sometimes but luckily now she gladly will take nurofen when she is sick.  

If you have orange flavoured maybe try the strawberry one?  My dd's would not go near the strawberry but both like the orange flavour.


Another thing i did was swap to the 5-12 yr old one as then you don't have to give them as much ml wise as its stronger.

Edited by tintoela, 17 January 2013 - 06:20 PM.


#4 queeniebird

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

Yes get the chewable tablets... Much easier..I think Advil is nurofen. Easy to chew.

#5 katymac

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Thanks Livvie - sorry, should have said he's 13 months.  My ticker isn't working!

I'd prefer not to medicate him too much, personally, and thankfully the ABs are kicking in, but the nights are a bit rough when he's sore.  He cried himself hoarse last night while we cuddled him, feeling very helpless.

He does have a dummy, so might try squirting in a bit and shoving his dummy in immediately, like you did with your DS!

#6 CFMummy

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

Have you tried letting him give it to himself sometime just that little bit of control and they will happily take it

#7 elizabethany

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

I have a DS like that, the only thing he will take voluntarily is the amoxicillin.  Everything else, we have to treat him like we are dosing a cow.  Basically, holding him with his head firm, and a syringe right to the back of the throat area.  Far enough back that he has to swallow it, and can't spit it out, but not so far that he chokes.  It is a very fine line.  It is not pleasant for anyone involved, but sometimes there is not a huge amount of choice.  We had Whooping cough in the house late last year, and he had precautionary antibiotics, so not really something you could miss.

you can also try to find a compounding chemist that can make up a better flavoured medicine for you.  I have heard of lollypops and apple or chocolate flavoured syrups  before, but never tried them personally.

#8 asdf89

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

How about crushing up the nurofen tablet and mixing with honey.

Then he thinks he's just getting a spoonful of honey Tounge1.gif

#9 Lagom

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:24 PM

If it is for pain relief I would go with Panadol suppositories.  We used them for DD who would NOT take medicine.  Being in hospital with her was a nightmare for all involved.  Even the nurses were miffed at how to get things into her.

#10 Paddlepop

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:25 PM

There's 2 flavours of Nurofen: strawberry and orange. Have you tried both flavours?

My DD absolutely refused to take the strawberry but will suck down the orange flavour very happily. She's almost 3yo and is happy to take medicine as long as it is orange flavoured. Still won't do strawberry/raspberry flavours, which is strange because she loves strawberry yoghurt.

I know that there has been a thread a few months ago about squirting in down the inside of the cheek.

Found it:
http://www.essentialkids.com.au/forums/ind...&hl=syringe

There are some good hints in that thread.

Good luck.



#11 katymac

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

I have considered going to a compounding chemist!  He scoffed some chocolate custard yesterday, and wished we could get chocolatey flavoured painkiller, LOL!  He loves fruit, but hates anything fruit-flavoured, it seems.  Very strange.  

The chemist was very good, though, he suggested getting the concentrated Nurofen for older kids, so it's a smaller dose.  He doesn't really have enough teeth to crunch the chewable tablets.

#12 katymac

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:29 PM

Thanks Regular Show.  Knew DS wasn't the only one.  Bribery won't cut it for him.  

We did offer it to him in a cup, but he got a tiny bit on his lips, blew a raspberry and threw the cup.  *sigh*

#13 Genabee

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

Mix it with a spoonful of natural yoghurt.....

#14 JustBeige

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

I had one of those kids too.

When we realised that they didnt like Panadol flavour but they had to have it and we didnt have anything else in the house and all the chemists were closed,  we just waited till they opened their mouth and screamed and you know when they close their eyes as they are building up for a real yell? well DH would wait behind me and squirt it down the back of their throat.   Once they stopped spluttering we followed it up with a drink of their fav drink.  

We then shopped around and tried a few and found that they would take the Chemists own brand flavour.    


I certainly understand the "I'll give it to him wrapped in chocolate if he would just take the medicine"  sentiment.

Edited by JustBeige, 17 January 2013 - 06:56 PM.


#15 PriLou

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

Neurofen is for pain. You could try Dymadon which is paracetamol and is also foR the treatment of pain. My DD is 12 months and will happily take her Dymadon.

#16 LovenFire

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:57 PM

My LO hates panadol and hates nurofen too.  We give him Dimedon which is thicker and orange flavored and then our challenge is how to convince him that truly, really, he doesn't need anymore.  

If that doesn't work though ...get him slightly before bedtime (as no-one likes a traumatic bedtime), pop him on the change table.  Lean over him to hold him down, pinch nose and get that syringe in his mouth as soon as the mouth is open. Once you have the medicine in, pop your hand under his chin so he can't open his mouth and spit it out.

It isn't nice, but if he is pain, you just do what you need to do to help them - even if they don't think so at the time.

#17 kez71

Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:49 PM

is it possible to put it in cordial or juice and freeze it as an iceblock?? I read somewhere to do this for things kids don't want to eat..i guess it would depend on how cold neurofen is allowed to get before it doesn't work.

#18 kadoodle

Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (amabanana @ 17/01/2013, 07:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it is for pain relief I would go with Panadol suppositories.  We used them for DD who would NOT take medicine.  Being in hospital with her was a nightmare for all involved.  Even the nurses were miffed at how to get things into her.


Yep.  Up the bum it was for my little medicine spitter.  Watching her angrily trying to fart it out was pretty funny too.

#19 Jingle Flea

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

OMG, angry farts? that's hilarious!

#20 kez71

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

sorry, double post


Edited by kez71, 17 January 2013 - 08:05 PM.


#21 tenar

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:04 PM

We got a technique for DD2 around that age where we'd stick a syringe in between her teeth/gums, squirt in the medicine bit by bit, but never let the syringe out until she had swallowed some.  You can't spit something out if you can't close your mouth first.

Not fun at all, but it did work.  

Eventually she decided she liked it, mostly, and it was easier from then on.  

DD2 prefers the nurofen type syringes (it's a cylinder, not syringe shaped) to the ones that come with panadol, which are syringe shaped.  No idea why, but it might be worth experimenting with different shapes.

Good luck.

#22 belinda1976

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

Does it have to be Nurofen - plenty of other pain medications that have different flavours.

#23 mumofenergiserbuny

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

my son was always spitting medicine out when he was smaller, so we found that squirting said medicine into a bottle teat and giving it to him to suck on worked....
worth a try original.gif

#24 Soontobegran

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:16 PM

I know that sometimes there is little choice but diluting medications in bottles and such can alter it's efficacy and would only do it as a last resort.
I would use supps for pain relief but to get medications into a toddler you sit on the floor with your legs open and lie the child with their feet pointing away from you and their head in your crotch.
You pop their arms under each of your legs and you then have a firmly restrained head and no arms to push you away.
You squirt the medication into their cheek and not onto the tongue because the tongue will often instinctively push it back out again. Have a nice drink or a dry biiscuit to follow through with after it has gone down.
It might sound cruel but it is effective and it takes just a minute to do and they get their prescribed does without losing half of it.

#25 Batmansunderpants

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 17/01/2013, 09:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know that sometimes there is little choice but diluting medications in bottles and such can alter it's efficacy and would only do it as a last resort.
I would use supps for pain relief but to get medications into a toddler you sit on the floor with your legs open and lie the child with their feet pointing away from you and their head in your crotch.
You pop their arms under each of your legs and you then have a firmly restrained head and no arms to push you away.
You squirt the medication into their cheek and not onto the tongue because the tongue will often instinctively push it back out again. Have a nice drink or a dry biiscuit to follow through with after it has gone down.
It might sound cruel but it is effective and it takes just a minute to do and they get their prescribed does without losing half of it.


This! We were also told to hold the jaw till it was swallowed. If they won't open their mouth try gently holding their nose shut.

It is so distressing. My son was like this and overnight he started accepting it normally.




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