Coping When Your Child Refuses Medicine

Coping When Your Child Refuses Medicine

For me, the worst part of being a parent is that my child refuses medicine.

It’s never a walk in the park when they’re ill, but when your child refuses medicine, it piles on the stress and worry. I’ve had many sleepless nights worrying that ragamuffin will build up resistance to antibiotics.
I know that no child likes to take medicine but most parents manage to get it into their children somehow. I hear stories of techniques other parents use with their children but none of it works where ragamuffin is concerned.

Health Professionals

We have seen countless health professionals who don’t believe that our child refuses medicine. They assume that we are permissive parents and can be very patronising when we have to see them. Responses include “Well she has to learn” and “But what if she has a temperature?”, but they never have any advice to offer.

We were admitted to hospital in November and after every shift change we were visited by another nurse insisting that they could get ragamuffin to take some medicine. The technique was always the same, pinning her down, as was the result. Either they got none in, it was spat out or she made herself sick. In the end I decided that enough was enough and stopped them trying to force it into her.

Doctors aren't always helpful when your Child Refuses Medicine.
Doctors aren’t always helpful when your child refuses medicine.

During that stay we were met with a consultant who, without any input from me or daddy, decided that it must be the taste of the antibiotics we had been prescribed. This was ridiculous considering ragamuffin has refused every flavour of Calpol currently available. He changed us from a course where the dose was 3ml once a day for 3 days to a course where the dose was 5ml four times a day for 5 days! The taste was no better and actually stronger than the first prescription. We asked to go back to the original prescription when we were discharged.

Even when you meet a sympathetic health professional they have no suggestions. Daddy ragamuffin met one doctor at our local walk-in center who said that his own son refused to take anything until the age of 13! The prospect having the stress and worry of this battle until ragamuffin turns 13 fills me with dread.

Tried and Tested

Pinning ragamuffin down and putting medicine into her mouth just does not work. She either spits it out or makes herself sick. We’ve had most success mixing with food (DO NOT MIX MEDICINE IN FOOD WITHOUT CONSULTING A GP FIRST) but there are some problems with this method.

  1. If I don’t get the food to medicine ratio right and she tastes it, she will refuse to eat this food for the foreseeable future.
  2. Unless she eats it all, I have no way of knowing just how much she has taken.
  3. If she goes off food then this option is a no-go.

The Reality When Your Child Refuses Medicine

When your child refuses medicine as wilfully as our ragamuffin does you just need to get as much as you possibly can into them. It’s all you can do. We’re on the third course of antibiotics that ragamuffin has had and we’re yet to get a full day’s worth of doses into her. Yet she has still recovered from two chest infections and *looks* to be getting over her recent ear infection.

I’d love to tell you that I have the answer. I wish could say that I have the magic formula to convince your child to take medicine as needed. The only advice I do have is to ask your GP for suppositories where possible and if they need a prescription try to get your GP to prescribe something with minimal doses.

*** This is NOT medical advice. You should always administer medication to your children as prescribed. I am not a healthcare professional and have no medical background.***

Looking for indoor activities to do with your poorly ragamuffins? Check out my 7 Toddler Approved Rainy Day Activities

All images within this post are stock photos sourced from Pixabay

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2 thoughts on “Coping When Your Child Refuses Medicine

  1. Most of the time our children like to have it, but on occasion they have refused and squirmed and screamed and clamped their mouths shut! It’s horrible when you have to force it in as you know they need it, so I can sympathise here!

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