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Caring for Critically Ill Kids
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Getting Children to Take Their Medicine
Whether children are critically ill or suffering from common colds and injuries, it can be challenging to get them to follow doctors,' nurses' and especially their parents' orders. "Even minor illness can and will have an impact on the family's life in some way," says social worker Mary Mathews. "And it doesn't take a life-threatening event for a family to need some adjustment time." To get children to cooperate with a treatment plan and to take their medication, pediatric nurse practitioner Joan Lokar says, "The parent's attitude is key, so approach it confidently." It helps to understand what children think and feel about the illness, and to guide them with understanding and conviction.
These tips from the doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers at Children's Memorial Hospital may help you get your children to take their medicine; and can be applied to many instances.
General Strategies
Learn strategies to get kids to cooperate with their treatment plan, and even become excited about getting well.
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Talking Tips Age by Age
Discover words that work and what children understand about their treatment.
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"While the taking of the medicine is non-negotiable, offering simple choices gives the child a needed sense of control. You might ask, 'Do you want the medicine before you get dressed or after?' Or, `What kind of juice would you like after you take your medicine, apple, orange or grape?' "
Mary Mathews
Director of Family Programs