Teaching Kids How to Swallow Pills

Recently, we've been faced with a new challenge: Needing to teach our son how to swallow pills. He needed to take a medication that only came in swallowable pill form. We had less than 24 hours to help him get the new pills down. Yikes!!

But, we were successful and here are a few tips to help some other parent out there faced with the same problem.

1. Buy a tube of mini m&ms. Invite your child to swallow them. When they're successful, you can move to regular sized m&ms. They'll be excited at the prospect of having their candy, plus m&ms don't taste bad if they sit in your mouth a little too long while you're practicing.

2. If, by chance, the m&ms don't work for you because your child can't resist the temptation to chew them, then try my second suggestion. It worked like a charm. Place the pill in a piece of food, such as a small piece of pancake or a spoon of applesauce or yogurt. I always told my child that it was in the food because the particular pill he had to take would have caused major havoc if he accidentally bit into it. Since I had noticed that he could swallow unnaturally large pieces of pancakes in the morning while hurrying to get off to school, I decided one day to put the pill in a small piece of pancake. Then, I asked him to swallow the piece without chewing. It worked like a charm. We did that for a few days until he felt comfortable enough to swallow the pill whole. Now, he swallows pills with no problem.

Though I hope your child doesn't need to take pills in the near future, hopefully these tricks will make it easier when they do.

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About Janae

Hello from Colorful Colorado! My name is Janae and I live at the edge of the beautiful Rockies with my six kids and wonderful husband. We’re a busy family who loves to work together, learn together, and most of all, play together. Like a post? Please comment.
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2 Responses to Teaching Kids How to Swallow Pills

  1. Molly says:

    Ha! Kerri–I was just going to tell the same story! Yes, I was the one who finally got Kerri swallowing pills. All it took were some mini marshmallows (which she was totally capable of swallowing whole). Agreed–who knew?

  2. Kerri says:

    as a college girl i got laughed at when i ordered the liquid medicine at the pharmacy since I still could not swallow pills. until one day my roommate and i were snacking on mini marshmallows in the library and she dared me to swallow one. it worked. bless her soul. So I no longer have to crush up a tylenol pill in a cup of water to make my headaches go away. mini marshmallows…who knew.

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