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Giving medication to children

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Buffalo: Giving medication to children
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When your child is ill, giving them medication, whether it's a pill or a liquid, has its challenges. Marcie Fraser takes a look at some options and helpful tips.

When your child is ill, giving them medication, whether it's a pill or a liquid, has its challenges.

"Little children don't like to drink liquids, bigger kids don't like to take tablets or capsules," explained pediatrician Dr. Manny Cirenza.

For young kids, liquid medication may be the easiest to administer but not the most exact.

"Many parents will complain when they are using liquid they lose medicine, sometimes they throw up or spit up medications," said Dr. Cirenza.

Pills or tablets provide a more accurate method of administering medicine, but getting them to swallow a pill takes practice and it can begin as early as age nine.

“Having them practice on a Tic Tac, they are cheap and simple and a good starter size. Take the tablet or if practicing a Tic Tac, get a large drink of water and wash it down aggressively and they will get it," said Dr. Cirenza.

And if you think crushing a pill is a good idea, think again.

“Crushing a tablet can be a dangerous thing, it can alter the pharmacokinetic form of the medicine, render them useless or sometimes even harmful," said Dr. Cirenza.

If you have a little one who refuses even the flavored liquid medication, ask your local pharmacist about a compound called ‘flavor X.’ It comes in various flavors.

"Anything from coconut, lime, cherry, bubble gum, and can make a difference," said Dr. Cirenza.

For some kids, bigger ones, taking adult medicine is an option.

"When children are 12 years of age and they are in the 120 to 130 pound range, in general, with most of the over the counter medications, they are going to do ok, but you need to read your label and try to be a little careful," said Dr. Cirenza.

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