Monday, October 30, 2006
How to give your child medicine and make sure it stays down
With my girl, who is four, it is much easier. When we first came home from the doctor, I showed her the medicine and exclaimed "Look, it comes with a cute cup, like one of your toy cups. Would you like to try it?" (The medicine had a little measuring cup that came with it). She immediately nodded at with that, each time she took the medicine from the "cute cup" eagerly even though she grimaced whenever she drank it. And that was that. Very simple.
Not with the younger boy though, who is two. At first, before he became even more sick. He could still play along. We made it a game. "Everyone say AAAHH" I called out and we all opened out mouths in unison and when he did, I squirted some medicine in. Then it was "Everyone say MMMmmm" to get him to close his mouth, followed by "Everyone say EEEYEEA" while we shook our heads and laughed to indicate that it tastes awful but its ok, we know, but its still fun to play. He played along the first few times.
However, when he became more sick he didn't want to "play" anymore. He screamed, he struggled, he pursed his lips and gritted his teeth and UWEK! I made many mistakes that I want to record here to learn from it.
Fed him a drink just before the medicine
Fed him a drink after the medicine
Fed him a meal BEFORE the medicine
Fed him a meal AFTER the medicine
Fed him the medicine on an empty stomach with no food afterwards
Put the medicine dropper in the middle of his mouth
Tried to put his medicine into his favourite drink to "trick" him
He refused to drink after the first sip
And finally, after all that, we found the winning formula. First, prepare the medicine without his knowledge so he does not start crying in anticipation. Then mummy carries him and traps his arm in hers (he struggles less as compared to being carried by daddy), tilts his head back at an angle but not too far back and daddy squirts the medicine in. (Must squirt from the side of the mouth, not the center to prevent a gag reflex). If he clenches his teeth or purses his mouth, then daddy needs to press his cheeks to get him to open up. After that, mummy have to carry him elsewhere to soothe, calm and distract him and prevent him from crying for the next one hour. After that, its ok to give him some fluids and food. He may still throw up when he coughs but maybe by then some of the medicine has gone down, hopefully.
When daddy is not around to help and he refuses to cooperate, I have to strap him down on the highchair, go behind him to trap his arms and when he opens his mouth to cry "Squirt!" Bad mommy!
Phew! Thankfully, he is ok now. I've really had enough of cleaning vomit but most importantly, I'm relieved he is ok after 10 days of being sick. The doctor said there are some cases of pneumonia going around.
Can other parents share with me, their winning formula for giving their child medicine? Its a fine art, I tell ya. Hehe.