Taking Medication

Encouragement is Key

Young children may need help in taking medications. It may be necessary to crush the pills and put the powder in the child’s favorite foods. Ask your doctor if the medicine he/she prescribes is available in liquid, chewable tablets or sprayables. With sprinklers, you can open them and “sprinkle” the contents in a teaspoon of applesauce, pudding or other food products. Even small children can understand the importance of taking their pills. Young children can be told that it will help keep them well. Older children can understand that they are taking their pills so they will not have seizures. Parents may want to use themselves as an example. They can show their children that they occasionally take an aspirin when they have a headache. They might take a vitamin so the children can copy their behavior. Children love to imitate their parents. Caution: Keep all medications out of the reach of children. With some liquids, your neighborhood pharmacist can sometimes flavor the medicine. Make sure that the caregivers know when and how to give the medicine. Before dosing, make sure that someone else has not already given that dose to avoid overdosing.

Compliance Away from Home

When a child with epilepsy will be away from home, whether visiting the grandparents for the weekend or going to camp for the summer, it is essential to maintain the medication schedule. The child, parent, or both can organize a medication box filled with the necessary number of doses and the times for taking them. Alternatively, a company called Medicine-on-Time (800-722-8824) will bubble-pack individual medication doses and label them by date and time. Whatever procedure is used, it should be one that the child or responsible adult understands and finds easy to use, because compliance is so important.