How to Give Medicine to Children

Many times, giving medicine to children becomes an impossible task. Today, we'll give you some tips to make it easier.
How to Give Medicine to Children

Last update: 10 March, 2021

Frequently, giving medicine to children becomes a combat between parents and their children. This is due to many different factors. Sometimes, children don’t like the taste of the medicine. Other times, they may be in a bad mood because of their sickness. Today, we’ll give you some tips to make this process easier.

What medicine should you choose?

First, it’s important to know your children. Every kid is different, and many times, it can help you to know what they’re like and what flavors they prefer.

Of course, you can always talk to their pediatrician. They can give you some advice regarding different types of medicine. Then, using all this information, you’ll be able to choose the best medicine for your children.

You might be interested in reading: Drug Allergies in Children, Symptoms and Treatments

Some general tips on giving medicine to children

Once the doctor has prescribed the medicine you have to give to your children, and you’ve decided the type of medicine you’ll use, you’ll be ready to follow the next tips:

Medicine to children.
  • Children should be standing or in a semi-seated position (45º angle), in order to prevent them from choking.
  • If you give them a liquid medicine (syrup) using a syringe, you should do it from one side of the mouth. If you do it this way, you’ll prevent them from choking.
  • Sometimes, you can camouflage the flavor. To do this, you can combine the medicine with other food they like. For example, you can use fruit puree, ice-cream, yogurt, etc. If you decide to do this, make sure they take all the medicine, and just a small portion of food.
  • It’s important to do this naturally. Also, you should never use medicine as a threat or hide what it really is.
  • Even though they have no choice regarding the use of medicine, if they don’t complain, you can reward them later. You can prepare food they like, or let them play a bit longer. You can even tell them about the reward before they take the medicine. And, don’t forget to show them how happy you are when they take their medicine. 

You might also be interested in: What to Do If Your Child Has Taken Medicine by Mistake

Some tips to give medicine to children, according to age


As we’ve mentioned before, they should be in a semi-seated position (45º angle), and you should hold their heads. You can use a syringe, dropper or the nipple of the baby bottle. Then, you should drop the liquid at the back of the tongue, from one side of the mouth.

It’s important to avoid dropping the liquid directly toward the throat to prevent them from choking. 

Small and preschool kids

They can be the most problematic ones regarding medicine intake. During this period, they don’t understand why they need to take the medicine. We suggest listening to what they have to say. 

Once you let them share their opinion, you have to explain to them that they have no choice. As a result, we’ll help them reason, but they’ll understand that sometimes they just need to follow orders.

How to Give Medicine to Children

School-age children

School-age children are able to understand why they need to take the medicine, and they’ll feel calm when doing so. Also, they can do it on their own, while you monitor them. 

Giving medicine to children…

The most important thing is to be sure that they need to take the medicine, based on the advice of a medical professional. Therefore, you have to visit a doctor first.

Then, you’ll choose the best type of medicine for your children to take. And, you’ll follow some of our tips to prevent the process from being aggressive.

Finally, remember to keep the medicine out of your children’s reach, because this can be really dangerous for them.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • 06. EDITORIAL-REGLAMENTO [Internet]. 2006 [cited 2020 Apr 3]. Available from: http://www.elsevier.esel12/02/2013
  • Rezzónico CA. (2004). Bioética y derechos de los niños. Vol. 102, Arch.argent.pediatr. 2004.
  • Administración de medicamentos: teoría y práctica – B. Santos Ramos, Guerrero Aznar, M. D. – Google Libros [Internet]. [cited 2020 Apr 3]. Available from: sabor medicamento&f=false

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.