General Health

Down the Hatch! 10 Clever Tricks to Get Your Children to Take Medicine

It’s 9pm and your little one is struggling to sleep. Crying, coughing, congested, with a snotty nose and red eyes. It’s awful to watch and you know what he needs – a big cuddle and a bit of medicine. The cuddle he’ll agree to, but the medicine? Well, not a chance!

You see, we clever all-knowing parents understand that medicine can help our children, even if it’s not the nicest thing to get down. Sadly, kids don’t see it quite this way. To them, medicine is about as horrifying as a piece of onion in their spaghetti. Dirt, they will eat. Random cheerios they find on the floor, you bet. But chopped-up onion or a small teaspoon of medicine? Don’t even think about it.

To help your baby or child feel better without the medical drama, we’ve got 10 tricks to get children to take medicine.

Important: Be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before trying any of these tactics. 

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Administering medicine can be tricky with children. A few clever tricks can work a treat! Source: Bigstock

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1. Crush it up in food

Some medication for children can be crushed and sprinkled into food. Other liquid medication for children may be added to a drink. Choose something you KNOW your child loves and will gobble up if you’re going with this method. After all, they will need to finish the whole bowl or beverage to ensure they get the right dosage.

Anything soft works well – yoghurt, apple sauce or custard. Often when a child is sick they won’t want much more than soft, easy foods anyway.

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Hiding medicines in food is an effective way to sneak medicine to babies. Source: Bigstock

2. Chewables

Chewable medication for children is another excellent option and an easy one at that! Our pick for a chewable herbal remedy for children is Esberitox® Lemon*.

It’s a common cold remedy with the active ingredients of thuja occidentalis, baptista tinctoria and a combination of echinacea purpurea and echinacea pallida.

  • Esberitox Lemon is suitable for children ages 4+ and free from gluten, sugar, lactose and preservatives as well as 100% vegan.
  • Esberitox Compact is suitable for older kids (age 12+) to adult.  It packs 5 times the strength of Esberitox Lemon. Either chew or swallow 1 tablet twice a day.

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Esberitox is available in all leading community pharmacies and on a promotional offer at Amcal online. Pick a pack up before cold and flu season strikes. Buy in-store and you’ll also receive a free hand sanitiser (while stocks last).

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Esberitox Lemon are chewable and reduces the duration and severity of common cold symptoms! Always read the label. Follow directions for use. Source: Supplied

3. The Chaser

The most common way to administer medicine to children is through a syringe. However, one look at the syringe and your child may run for the door. Here’s a colourful idea – place some juice right behind the medicine in the syringe to quickly wash down the icky flavour.

Just make sure you’ve got the measurements correct and that you put the medication in FIRST.

tricks to get children to take medicine
Medication and juice together. A match made in heaven! Source: Today’s Parent

4. Monkey see, monkey do

It’s important for children to understand that taking medicine isn’t scary but sometimes they need a bit of encouragement. Pretend to have your own spoonful before offering it to them.

Or add imaginative play into the scenario by offering medication to a sick dolly or stuffed teddy as well.

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A great way to give them comfort is for them to mimic what we do. Source: Adobe Stock

5. Aim for the back

If you don’t have time for games, or simply want a no-muss approach, another option is to simply point and shoot for the right spot in the mouth.

Taste buds are concentrated at the front and centre of the tongue so aim for the cheek area and bypass the finicky taste buds. The perfect shot is between the rear gum and inside cheek but you may need someone to help you hold your little one when trying to master this move.

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Aim for the cheek or back of the mouth. Source: Bigstock

6. Juice box switcheroo

You’ll need a straw for this medicine hack. Simply attach the straw hidden into an empty juice box, or attach to the side of a coke can (but we recommend steering away from soft drink, at least until they are a bit older!).

Then place the straw into the medicine. Your little one will think they are getting a sip of your yummy juice, but, oh no, it’s actually medicine!

tricks to get children to take medicine
This is a next-level medicine hack. Source: Reddit

TIP: A few things to keep in mind with this one:

  1. Make sure you’re holding both the can and the medicine.
  2. Measure the correct dosage first and put that in the bottle (or another small container) with the straw. Don’t just pop a straw into a full bottle of medicine.

7. The chocolate spoon

Before offering a child medicine on a spoon, consider dipping it into chocolate syrup or honey. The chocolate will coat the tongue before the medicine goes down.

NOTE: Not recommended for children under 12 months of age. 

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A quick taste of sweet can distract your child before medicine. Source: Adobe Stock

8. The baby bottle

We’ve shared this medicine hack in the past which is especially perfect for babies. Simply place the medicine into a syringe or dispenser, add a baby bottle lid and feed to bubba like a bottle.

Bub is tricked into thinking it’s a bottle of milk. And you’ve got a way to get that medicine down the hatch without your infant spitting most of it back up.

how to ghet babies to take their medicine
A clever medicine hack for babies. Source: Facebook

9. The special sippy cup 

There is actually a sippy cup on the market designed purely for giving medicine to kids. It’s called Sippy Sure Cup and you can get it on eBay and Amazon. It has a secret medicine compartment attached to the top so they take their medicine, followed by a quick chaser of juice.

special medicine cup
The Sippy Sure cup is a sure thing for medicine. Source: Amazon

10. The non-cup cup

Another option is to make taking medication for children fun by letting them use an extra special object as their cup or by having a fun twirly or animal-shaped straw, especially for medicine.

For example, an egg holder makes for an adorable little cup for special occasions as does a shot glass (cleaned, obv) or a very small measuring cup.

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Children may be more inclined to take medicine if it’s served in a cute little piggy. Source:

BONUS IDEA: The bribe

If all else fails and your child is old enough to bargain, then you can’t go past a good bribe. We mean, reward. A special toy, an ice cream, a package of stickers.

If it helps get the medicine down, allows them to feel better and get some sleep, then why not, right??

We hope these tricks to get kids to take medicine work for you. If your little ones are older than four, we highly suggest grabbing a pack of Esberitox Lemon the next time you’re at the chemist. Then you’ll be prepared for the first signs of a common cold because it’s a good herbal remedy to reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms.

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A few clever tricks will help your kids through winter sickness. Source: Adobe Stock

This is a sponsored post for Arrow Pharma

* Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist consult your health professional. Contains saccharin sodium.  

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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