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Tips for Giving Children Medication

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Injected Medications:

Perhaps the most feared medicine for children is the shot. Often children who have chronic illnesses will fear shots more than any other type of medication since shots associate physical pain with the other complications of the disease. To make it even more difficult, there are childhood immunizations that may confuse children as to why they need “sick” shots and “well” shots.

The best way to help children with these shots is to stay calm and relaxed yourself. Children, even small babies, can sense an anxiety and know that anxiety is not often associated with pain-free events. By staying calm, caregivers can help children understand that shots are necessary, even if they do hurt.

Don’t mislead children into thinking that shots don’t hurt. They often do. Explain that even if the shot hurts, it is necessary in order to overcome an illness or protect them from other diseases. Also, prepare children for needing a shot, even before you get to the doctor’s office. For children with chronic illnesses, they may receive painful injections on a regular basis. By staying prepared in advance, children may have less anxiety when the needle actually appears in the exam room.

Finally, reward the child when the experience is over. Reserve some treats for those times when painful shots need to be given so that the child feels special as a result. Even though you don’t want to reward children every time they take medicine, a special treat or visit to the park may help when medicines can’t be administered in any other way except through injection.

Regardless of the type of medication needed for children, there is no reason that parents or caregivers need to fear giving them. Children, when they understand the reasons behind the medication, can often be convinced to take their medication relatively stress-free. If you are having an especially difficult time giving medication to your children, have the doctor talk to the children. Sometimes, just hearing it from the doctor is enough to get children to comply.


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