Many parents find it difficult to get their children to take medication for a simple cold. This can lead to tantrums. Parents who give lifesaving medication to their children fighting cancer face a greater challenge and stress.

The National Children’s Cancer Society’s Web site (N.C.C.S.)Parents of children with cancer can connect through the N.C.C.S. Web site to find support, information and other resources. It is often difficult to know how to give lifesaving medication to children. One parent shared her frustrations with trying to convince her 4-year old daughter to take her medicine.

“She hates the medication we have to give her daily,”The Web site was created by the woman. “She will not swallow the pills. Crushing them tastes awful and to give liquid is almost impossible. Is there a trick?”

Parents who want to help their children beat cancer, as well as parents who just want to soothe their child’s stuffy nose, will find the following tips useful.

* Offer choices. Although taking the medicine may not be an easy task, it is worth asking questions such as: “Would you like apple or grape juice with your medicine?”This will create a sense of control in your child that will encourage them to follow your lead.

* Make the medication taste better. You must get the medication. “OK”Ask your doctor for creative ways to mask the medicine’s taste. You can disguise the taste of medication in powder or liquid form by dipping a spoon in chocolate syrup and then giving it to your child.

* Create a routine. You should establish a schedule. Make sure that your child marks the area where they receive their medication with a sticker or checkmark after each dose. This is especially important for children who are fighting long-term diseases such as cancer.

* Give them an “out.”Allow your child to take a five-minute break if they become combative during medication sessions. This will allow them to get back on track and regain their physical and mental health before attempting to re-engage with you.