Safety Tips for Parents Whose Kids Like the Taste of Medicine

“How can I encourage my children to take medication? » is one of the most frequently asked questions by parents Dr. Débra Langlois, pediatrician at University of Michigan Health CS Mott Children’s Hospital. But as children’s medications and supplements are increasingly designed to appeal to children—think sweet flavors and gummies—another concern has emerged: What happens if your child likes the taste too much? medication ?

“Giving medicine to children is difficult because a lot of medicine tastes bad, so to get them to take medicine we usually flavor it and make it look like candy.” Dr. Rudy Kink, a pediatric emergency specialist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, told Yahoo Life. National drugstore chains such as Walgreens even offer parents the option of paying extra for flavors like “Awesome Apple,” “Blastin’ Bubblegum” or “Giggly Grape.”

“Unfortunately, some children can’t tell candy from medicine or know when to take it,” says Kink. In his 14 years working in a pediatric emergency room, he says, he’s seen an increase in poisonings — from intentional overdoses to teens attempting dangerous experiments on social media, like the Benadryl challenge, to accidental ingestions among young children who have confused melatonin and cannabis. gummies for candy – that aligns with national trends.

Do you want to ensure the safety of your children around medications? Here’s what the experts recommend.

Medications should be kept out of reach of young children, Langlois tells Yahoo Life; this might involve locking the cabinet to create a physical barrier. She reminds parents to know where medications are at all times and remember to put them back in a safe place after administering them.

Parents should ask visitors and guests to make sure their medications are inaccessible, Kink adds. This includes grandparents who might have medicine in the bag they put on the floor where a curious child could easily reach it.

Most importantly: “If you’re worried that someone won’t be able to protect themselves with medication, whether it’s your toddler who impulsively thinks everything is an M&M or your teenager who self-harm, lock out medications and make sure he talks. to someone about this, ” Shannon Houriganchild psychologist and instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told Yahoo Life.

“Use your medications wisely from day one,” Langlois tells Yahoo Life. This includes over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol as well as vitamins and supplements. In general, other than a vitamin D supplement for a breastfed infant, most children eating a well-balanced diet do not need separate vitamins or supplements.

Instead of resorting to Tylenol first, Langlois urges parents to try alternatives. A teething baby, for example, can be soothed with a cool washcloth or teething ring.

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