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How to Get Kids to Drink Pedialyte

by Bonnie Crowe

Oh no! Your child has come home from playgroup with stomach flu and within minutes, your house has been turned upside down. Your mommy nursing duties kick into high gear as you try to prevent dehydration. Pedialyte replaces lost electrolytes and may offer your child some relief. Unfortunately, your child has decided that she hates the stuff and won’t drink it.

Have your child pick out the flavor of Pedialyte. Pedialyte bottles come in strawberry, grape, bubble gum and unflavored options. Get a back-up flavor, just in case the one he picks isn’t all he thought it would be.

Refrigerate the Pedialyte before giving it to your child. Pedialyte tastes better cold.

Have him hold his nose while he drinks the Pedialyte, because this will numb his taste buds so that he won’t taste it or smell it.

Pour the Pedialyte drink into a special cup. Say to your child, "Aren't you so lucky that Mommy got you this super special magic potion that will make your tummy feel all better!

Try putting a small amount of Pedialyte into a medicine dropper and drop it into your child’s mouth a little at a time. Pretend you’re a Mama bird feeding your baby bird, complete with bird squawks and feather flapping when you give it to him, or let him drop the medicine into his own mouth to make him feel “grown up.”

Mix a drop of medicine flavoring into the medicine. Your local drugstore should sell flavorings that are safe for children’s medicine.

Pretend to give the Pedialyte to your child’s favorite stuffed animal or doll. Tell him, “See how much better Mr. Whisker’s feels after taking his medicine. Oh, he’s so much happier now that the Pedialyte got rid of that nasty, icky stomach bug! Don’t you want to get rid of that nasty, icky stomach bug too?”

Try bribery. Offer to watch his favorite DVD or TV show with him during a snuggle; or have him pick a small reward for drinking the Pedialyte out of a list of options.

Items you will need
  • Pedialyte
  • Pedialyte frozen pops
  • Special cup
  • Medicine dropper
  • Medicine flavoring

Tips

  • If your child doesn’t like the Pedialyte drink, try the frozen Pedialyte pops. Pedialyte pops come in grape, blue rasberry and orange flavors. Tell your child you bought special ice pops just for him as a treat.
  • Have your child stay away from sugary drinks, like juice, when he has the stomach flu, because they may make the symptoms worse.
  • Small sips are better than big gulps. Have your child sip Pedialyte slowly, every few minutes, until she has the recommended 32 to 64 fluid ounces while diarrhea or vomiting is present.

Warnings

  • Always check with your pediatrician before giving Pedialyte or any electrolyte solution.
  • Don’t mix Pedialyte with juice or other liquids because it can weaken the effectiveness of the solution and make your child’s diarrhea worse.
  • Store opened Pedialyte in the refrigerator and discard any unused product after 48 hours, as it can harbor bacteria and cause a secondary infection.
  • Dehydration is dangerous. Call your doctor if your child’s symptoms don’t improve, or if vomiting and diarrhea persist.

About the Author

Bonnie Crowe is a mother of two teenagers; a teacher and author of children's books, curriculum and articles on English grammar, literature, technology, art, parenting and career guides for high schoolers. She's a former director of AOL Parenting, a member of SCBWI, and a graduate from the University of California,Berkeley.

Photo Credits

  • James Woodson/Photodisc/Getty Images