Giving children medication and getting them to take it can be extremely difficult, thus it is important that children are included and have a say in their treatment. For parents the focus is often on getting their child to take medication as and when it is prescribed. To achieve this it is invaluable to work with your child.

If children feel they are being included and taken seriously, and that their views and opinions matter, they are much more likely to take their medication than if they are simply told what to do. With this approach some older children are happy to take ownership of their treatment to the point of administering their own injections.

Taking tablets. For some children, and even adults, this can be extremely traumatic. It is often worse with drugs such as methotrexate that your child may associate with nausea and tummy upsets. If there are problems you may wish to;

  • Try talking to your child and finding fun ways to make it easier.
  • Try flavoured water / drinks to wash medication down.
  • Try thicker liquids such as fruit smoothies, yoghurts or milkshakes.
  • Try some liquid in the mouth first and then pop the tablet in.
  • Try giving with sweet foods such as honey or jam as this may mask the unpleasant taste.

When giving medication it is important to remember to be understanding and use a gentle but firm approach;

  • Try to remain calm if your child refuses to take their medication, take a break and come back to it in 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Try and get someone else to try if you are not managing, perhaps your partner.
  • If your child takes a number of tablets then try splitting them up with a gap between tablets.
  • Giving your child choices lets them know that they have some control and ownership over their treatment yet still lets them know it is something they have to do. For example saying “Do you want your tablet before or after dinner?” rather than “do you want juice or water with your tablet?”

These are just a few tips, there are no doubt many tips and knacks other parents have learned and you may have some of your own. There may be times when these tips just don’t work, but don’t give up! SNAC has a Facebook page and this is a good forum to discuss tips with other parents who are in the same position as you. Or there is always your SNAC Local Area Contact who can be contacted if you just need to talk things through, please get in touch. Details of the Local Area Contacts can be found on our contact page.