Get medicine wise

Let’s face it, kids hate taking medicine.

And who can blame them? Swallowing something that tastes awful when you already feel sick can be a recipe for disaster. 

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network has partnered with NPS Medicinewise to create three short videos to give parents and carers tips on how to administer medication to children.

Nurse educator, Emma Di Michiel and child life therapist, Michelle Rosmarin lent their expertise to assist with this common challenge; 

It can be really tricky when your child won’t take the medication that you know is going to help them, says Emma.

“It’s normal for children to squirm and to be resistant to taking medication. Children are worried about the taste of medicine, the texture and about choking,” adds Michelle.

This video includes lots of easy, practical tips that will make it easier for anyone with children who refuse to take their medicine. 


It is important to be honest with your children about why they need to take the medication and also helpful to offer the child some control by providing reasonable choices where appropriate such as whether to take the medication sitting on the couch or sitting on a lap, says Michelle.

Michelle and Emma both agree that incentives are extremely helpful in encouraging compliance.

“For younger kids, don’t underestimate the power of a bribe and things like sticker charts are a really good option for younger kids,” says Emma. 

To keep kids safe when giving medicine, remember:

  • Read the label and know the active ingredient
  • Dose your child according to age and weight – know your child’s current body weight and ask a health professional if you’re unsure of the correct dose.
  • When using a syringe to give medicine, put it in the side of the mouth towards the back teeth, and use small squirts
  • Don’t mix medicines with other substances like milk or juice
  • Keep track of the medicines you’re using in a diary, log or medicine list.

If you think you have given too much or the wrong medicine, or have other concerns please contact the Poison Information Hotline 13 11 26.