28 answers

2.5 Yo Refuses to Take Antibiotic

My 2.5 year old was diagnosed with a double ear infection this afternoon. Tonight we gave her the first of ten daily doses--well, we attempted to. Its only a teaspoon, but I doubt she got even half of that. She's in so much pain, I wish she was old enough to reason with! There are some nasty illnesses out there right now and she has one of them. She has to have medicine if she is going to feel better. I can't stand her being in pain from the illness, but I can't stand "torturing" her with its cure either.

My husband tried holding her while I put the syringe in her mouth and the other way around. We tried bribing her with M&Ms, ice cream, Caillou--whatever. I tried hiding it IN the ice cream. I don't want to put it into a drink, because I can't risk her not getting the full dose if she decides not to finish the whole drink. From her perspective, however, she sees us as pinning her down and torturing her. She sounds like she is drowning and therefore will do what she can to evacuate all liquid from her mouth. She's screaming and nothing seems to work. Our older daughter LOVES medicine and would even take every dose for her. Our younger daughter watches the older take several medicines in a row and still refuses, even though the rest of the day she copies every move she makes!

Any ideas on how to get successfully through the last 9 doses? Thanks SO MUCH in advance!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We have only 2 days left of the antibiotic, and I'm happy to say she has gotten almost every dose! She sees me prepping it and covers her mouth with both hands. I hold her hands and say encouraging things, and once the syringe is in her mouth, I only squeeze a little toward her cheek, and then I DO NOT REMOVE the syringe before squeezing a little more. This limits the amount of time it takes, but the obstruction between her teeth also makes it impossible for her to push the meds out with her tongue. Quick and effective. Tonight (when it was over, of course, and she been handed a few M&Ms) she said, "I like medicine!"

I appreciate all the suggestions! Its amazing how this one subject can have so many schools of thought from mixing the antibiotic with a more appetizing substance, to holding the child pinned to the floor, to not giving it at all and doing something homeopathic! Its tough, too, because kids themselves are even more different. What works for one may not work for others. Regardless, I felt very supported by the many ideas as well as the stories that help me realize my child is not the only one in the world with a serious aversion to medicine!

She's also feeling better, by the way!

Featured Answers

It is liquid correct?? Mix it will a squirt of choc. syrup, Like Hershey's. My son was the same way, it worked miracles. Then squirt it up with a med. thing.

Working from home and loving it!

This sounds a little silly but before you do anything else taste the medicine. My son who is usually Ok with medicine reacted this way when he had an ear infection. I finally tasted it and discovered that it tasted worse than anything I'd ever tasted. It was call Septin or Seftin. I called the pediatrician and they prescribed something that tasted better and he finished the prescription.
Good luck! I hope she feels better soon.

My sis was having a terrible time giving an anitbiotic to her son. So I filled a syringe w/ Gatorade & told my nephew I needed to take my medicine too. & asked him if he would he give me mine & i would give him his... worked like a charm.

good luck!!

More Answers

Hold her down and pinch her nose. She will have to swallow to scream. Give it half at a time ( full teaspoon, yes?)
Sometimes one simply has to do what needs to be done for the best of the child.
You are not tortoring her, you are giving her a needed medicine and she is NOT allowed any input into this situation. You are her mother....do what a mother has to do.
Just do it.
Best wishes and God bless
Grandmother Lowell

1 mom found this helpful

A nurse at our pedi's office taught me a good way to get the medicine into reluctant kids. Parent sits on the floor, back to a wall for support. Open your legs, lay your child face up with her head at the juncture of your legs. Put her arms straight out, place your legs on top of her arms. This way her arms are pinned, and your arms are still free to hold her head. And her legs are too far away from you to do any damage, should she kick. Then, take the syringe, point it towards the inside of her cheek, and administer the medicine. It's not fun, forcing her to take it this way, but you're right: she is sick, and taking medicine isn't a choice. I used to worry that forcing my daughter to take meds this way somehow scar her. But it didn't. As she got older, she did learn to cooperate and takes her medicine without problems now.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was the same way. We would force it in and she would spit it right back at us. My husband and I both felt horrible holding her down and forcing it in...the whole thing ended with tears all around!!

With our doctor's ok, we started to put it into one of those drinkable yogurts and let her use a straw (the novelty of the straw really helped I think). The container hid the color, the tang of the yogurt hid the taste. She gobbled it right up. The first few times, just to be sure she'd drink it all, I drank a few big sips of the yogurt before putting the medicine in so there was just a little bit of liquid for her to drink. Not a problem because she kept drinking and slurping the straw for more.

Good luck!!!!

My sis was having a terrible time giving an anitbiotic to her son. So I filled a syringe w/ Gatorade & told my nephew I needed to take my medicine too. & asked him if he would he give me mine & i would give him his... worked like a charm.

good luck!!

I don't make a big deal about it, I just put the syringe in my daughters mouth and cheer her on once its all swallowed. You have to get her when shes distracted, like watching TV or playing with a crayons or something. If she is upset, or it seems like she may be able to gain little control of you she will try to be the boss.

Hi- how about giving her homeopathic remedies? Chamomilla and Pulsatilla are wonderful remedies for ear infections- both of my kids responded beautifully to them and I have never given an antibiotic for ear infections.
If you have any other questions, I can refer you to a naturopathic doctor/homeopath. Trust your child's responses to the medicine- I do. That's not to say you'll never need antibiotics, but I have only given them to my kids one time each and they are 9 and 6!
Please let me know how it turns out.


Hi K.

My son has had frequent ear infections, so I understand!! When we have resorted to antibiotics, and he hasn't liked the taste, we mix it with Barleans Strawberry/Banana Omega Swirl (and omega-3 flax oil supplement-- available at Whole Foods, Good Health in Quincy and probably your local health food store). I don't know what your budget is like, but it's expensive -- nearly $20.00 a bottle. My son and I are vegetarians, and I give it to him as a supplement, but it's really been great for those nasty tasting antibiotics!



Just wanted to say good luck! My son (2) was the same way and after many calls to the pediatrician... I had to hold him down -shoot the medicine down his throat (amidst screaming and crying like I am sure you can imagine) and pray he didn't vomit it up! By the time he was 3.5 he had decided he likes the way it tastes! All forgotten! Now it's band-aids for boo boo's that he hates -Go figure!

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