I'm definitely of the Mary Poppins Spoonful of Sugar School when it comes to giving medicine to kids, especially since artificial sweeteners make the medicine even worse than normal.
For the last couple of weeks our children have had a really rotten cold which made them all cough terribly and generally be very miserable indeed. Calvin ended up with a chest infection that meant that he had to take paracetamol (for the fever) and antibiotics.
This is no trivial thing because getting nearly-three-year-old Calvin ended up with his two parents holding him down and pouring it down his throat or, in one case, me sitting on him and pouring it down his throat, take-it-it's-good-for-you-style.
This is because the medicine tastes vile.
Of cource, medicine always has, but at least before pharmaceutical companies would sweeten it with sugar, or Mary Poppins would. But because everyone's obsessed with diets and all that crap the medicine has to be sugar-free. Which means that instead it has saccharin sodium or some other thing which tastes like somebody's attempt to make sugar out of recycled environmentally-friendly green shopping bags.
I'd much prefer the sugar. I mean, how fat is a kid going to get on the sugar contained in 10ml of paracetamol? Will that much really rot his teeth? I suppose that if you had some terrible sickness where you had to take it all the time it might, but even then you can always use a toothbrush?
Obviously there's a marketing reason there somewhere, but the stuff tastes horrible. They could at least give us the option.
I remember being quite fond of the taste of the antibiotics Calvin had to take, but now it's got a saccharin aftertaste—bleeech!
Anyway, we got Calvin to take his medicine by giving him jelly beans with every dose. Although the jelly beans are “99% fat-free” they're about 90% sugar.
This morning he was quite disappointed when I told him he'd finished all his medicine and was not sick anymore.