We'll say anything to bribe a kid to take their medicine, but telling them that they're lollies has the potential to backfire. In Australia, over half of the children hospitalised due to poisoning annually suffer pharmaceutical poisoning. Many of these are because they helped themselves to meds that were left in reach. After all, who doesn't want more lollies? Photo by Taki Steve.
Some kids understand that medicine helps you feel better, but then they apply toddler logic. If a little is good, more must be better, right? Kids also may not understand that there are different kinds of medicines, and so Grandma's pills aren't interchangeable with their cough syrup. My kids have even asked for medicine after skinning a knee.
All this argues in favour of explaining to kids what medicine really is — and until they're old enough to understand, keep meds "up and away", as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named their campaign to prevent childhood poisoning. That means that if you gave some medicine to a sick toddler, and plan to give them more in four hours, don't leave the bottle at their bedside. And if you're visiting friends or family, make sure they don't have meds or vitamins in kid-accessible places like the kitchen counter. Visit the link below for more tips.
Up And Away [CDC]