Every year the U.S. experiences cough, cold and flu season, with outbreaks beginning as early as October, and lasting well into Spring. There’s a good chance you’ll be impacted directly or indirectly by the flu this year as it is estimated that between 5% and 20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year. Yikes.
If you have young kids, or friends with young kids, you may have heard or experienced stories about medicine-time fails. Similarly, if you aren’t experiencing a chorus of coughs around you, then you likely soon will.
The team at Flavorx has put together our top five tips to help make medicine taking time less stressful this upcoming flu season – based on testimonials we’ve heard from health professionals and other common themes to utilize with young children.
There's no use lying about the taste of medicine to a child. Once a child has a negative experience taking medicine they will remain skeptical for years. Get on their level, tell them that it’s no fun feeling sick, but taking their medicine will help them feel better. Find a positive motivator and a way to connect on their level.
Give them control
Rationalizing with a three or four-year-old is near impossible. Rationalizing that something tasting poorly will make them suddenly feel better is even tougher. Instead of telling them what they need to do, ask them how they would like their medicine to taste. Even prescriptions like Amoxicillin can be custom flavored to your child’s preferred taste profile with orange, watermelon or strawberry in over 45,000 pharmacies.
Numb the tongue
Remember those Icy-Pops or Freeze-Pops that come by the dozens for less than $10? Add these to your medicine giving arsenal. They can help minimize the sting of some more intense prescriptions like Tamiflu, Prednisolone or Clindamycin (perhaps the worst of them all). Give about one third of the Icy Pop before administering the medicine, and immediately after they take their dose they get the remaining treat for their heroic efforts. Win-win for all parties involved.
Use the right tools
There are so many ways to administer medicine these days – from dosing spoons, dose cups, animal characters and more. Our favorite and most reliable has been the oral dosing syringe. The measurements are easy to follow but most importantly, the liquid is contained in its chamber and can be quickly administered into the back of the month to go down quickly bypassing many of the taste receptors at the front of the tongue.
Praise, Praise, Praise
This is the most important. There is some deep rooted psychology here. Young kids are driven largely by short term incentives and goals (probably why your six-year-old collects gold stars and Disney stickers like they’re the next Bitcoin currency). Utilize charts and stickers and offer a prize at the end of treatment. They have something to work towards, and you get a healthy child at the end of it – win/win for everyone.
If you are hearing from your patients are having difficulty administering medicine to their kiddos, try these or share any tips or tricks you have that makes the medicine go down a touch easier.