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5 Tips to Beat Back-to-School Sickness

Posted by Caitlin Taylor

Sep 14, 2021 10:01:58 AM


As kids head back to school, it’s inevitable that families will be stuck dealing with the bugs that pop up this time of year, including strep throat, bacterial infections, and the flu. Along with those illnesses comes the stress many parents experience when their children resist taking the medicine they need to get better. We’ve put together a few simple tips and tricks pharmacy professionals can share with parents to help kids take the medicine they need to get them healthy and back to school.


  1. Use the Right Tool

When it comes to giving kids medicine, there are a few options that can get the job done. Dosing syringes tend to work best as they let you aim the medicine away from the tongue and dispense quickly. Some children prefer dose cups as they are easy to drink from and hold. As long as the medicine can be accurately measured, we say find what works best for the child and go with it!


child takes liquid medicine with syringe


  1. Numb the Tongue

Taste buds don’t work as well when they’re cold, so having the child suck on an ice cube before taking the medicine can help dull the taste of a yucky medicine. A popsicle can also double as a way to numb the tongue and a sweet reward for getting the medicine down!


  1. Add a Favorite Flavor

Pharmacists and pharmacy techs have a secret weapon up their sleeve for making medicine-time better. By letting kids choose how they want their medicine to taste, pharmacy professionals can improve a yucky medicine and let kids feel more in control of their medicine-time experience. With tasty choices like Blastin' Bubblegum and Giggly Grape, even the pickiest child is sure to find a favorite. Hundreds of medicines can be flavored, including commonly prescribed antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Amox-clav, Cefdinir, and Clindamycin. 


pharmacist gives child flavored liquid medicine


  1. Practice Makes Perfect

Another way to put kids in charge of medicine-time is to let them try out a little role reversal. Have them practice giving fake medicine to a favorite stuffed animal or doll and help them remind their “patient” that the medicine will make them all better soon. Letting them take a turn in the parent role can help make the process less scary when it's their turn to take medicine.


child practices giving medicine


  1. Reward and Praise

For a kid who has a tough time taking medicine, it’s important to reward them when they’re successfully able to get the medicine down. A medicine dose tracker is a fun way for kids to keep track of their progress and work up to a small prize. Reward options are endless, from stickers and sweet treats to a visit to a favorite park when they're feeling better.


tool to help child take medicine


Taking liquid medicine can be no fun for kids, but if they get sick it’s necessary in order to get them feeling better and back to school. When pharmacy professionals share the tools and knowledge they have at their disposal, they can help make the experience of taking medicine much easier on both kids and their parents.


For an easy way to share these tips with parents at the pharmacy, download the printable version here


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Topics: Adherence, Compliance, and Health


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