How to get kids to take malaria tablets

Mvuu Camp in Liwonde National Park  | Best Safari in Africa?
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Should the kids take malaria tablets? Can you recommend anti-malarials? Can you recommend any malaria tablets? Can you help with how to get kids to take malaria tablets? These are just some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis.

Just to be clear this is NOT a medical advice post. Advice on whether to take malaria tablets (well actually anti-malaria tablets) and how many to take, is for the preserve of doctors and pharmacists not blog posts or forums in my view.  What this is however this is a post about how to get kids to take malaria tablets, based on my own experience.

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We first took our kids to Rwanda on a family holiday when they were 6, 5 and 5. We were advised by the NHS travel clinic that we all needed to take anti-malarial tablets and they recommended Malarone, so we chose to buy Malarone from Asda – which is hands down my recommendation of where to buy them from if you are UK based.

Whilst we took Malarone as we haven’t experienced significant side effects from taking them, everyone might have a different experience. I know Larium suited the Travelynn family who were travelling for longer than us as they only needed to take them once a week rather than every day.

Buying Malarone from Asda | Where to Buy Malarone

Mini Travellers

Anti- Malarials are not cheap, especially if you are a family of 5 like us. So do factor the cost into your budget for an African Safari trip. We have a post on the Unexpected Costs of an African Safari too.

unexpected costs of african safari

The usual advice is to give anti-malarial tablets with food or a milky drink, where possible, as this helps absorption and helps the treatment be more effective. For that reason we chose to give the kids their malaria tablets at breakfast, as this usually includes both food and a milky drink.

You also tend to take malaria tablets ahead of your trip to an at risk area, and then again afterwards, so we used the time at home to practice taking tablets with the kids and working out the easiest way.

How to get kids to take malaria tablets

We tried:

Just drinking malaria tablets down with water – that didn’t work for us.

Placing malaria tablets in their cereal bowl (at the top) – that didn’t work for us either as they got soggy and stuck to the top of their mouths.

Cutting them into 4 pieces – this didn’t work for the adults as it was too hard to do and they ended up crushed (crushed was not recommended).

So how did we get our kids to take malaria tablets?

We cut the anti-malarial tablets in half and put them in two scoops of Nutella for two of the kids, and for the one that didn’t like Nutella, we used Biscoff spread.

The kids felt like they were having a treat with two spoonfuls of a sweet sugary spread, and we got the anti-malarial in them! Win Win.

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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

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