Patience and Practice: Teaching Your Kid to Swallow Pills

Variety of medicines and drugsWhen it comes to children’s medicines, most parents are likely to choose chewable ones or those in liquid form. If this is the same for you, it is important to know that some medicines work best when taken as a tablet. Certain pills, furthermore, should never be chewed or crushed, as they are designed to work gradually. This is why it is important to teach your kid how to swallow pills.

Take it Easy

The ideal age at which children should learn this habit varies. Note the every kid is unique, so it is best to do it when your little one seems motivated to learn something. In most cases, kids should be at least four years old, but there is no need to pressure. It is best to start with something small (like mini M&Ms), then gradually increase the size, until you can move to a non-chewable pill or tablet.

Be a Role Model

Pediatric doctors in Lehi note that when kids are about to swallow their first pill, explain first the importance of taking medicines so they will not feel scared about it. You might also want to demonstrate how it is done by taking one of your vitamins or pills. Be sure to stay calm, as being nervous will cause your child to feel the same way. Also, avoid giving negative feedback if they didn’t do it right the first time.

Things to Do

Start by having your kid sit up straight. Let him take a few sips of water to practice the act of swallowing. This will also prevent dry mouth, which can make swallowing difficult, or cause the tablet or capsule to stick to the tongue. Proceed with placing the medicine on your kid’s tongue and let him drink water again.

If your child did it, praise him or acknowledge his effort. If not, tell him that it’s fine and you can always try again. If your child is reluctant, it is best to take a break and try again some other time. Note that some kids may find it difficult, so be patient and keep on practicing. You may, however, want to see a doctor if your kid is very anxious about taking new medicines or trying new things.

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