how to get kids to swallow pills

How to Get Kids to Swallow Pills: Even the Bitter Ones

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The inability to get used to taking medication at a young age may cause a lack of adherence to professional medical advice about medicine in the future. Such disregard for the medication prescription made by a doctor may result in the person not recovering from their illness.

Hence, it’s essential for parents to teach kids how to swallow a pill or capsule. Teaching your child may not be easy because of the child’s fear of choking on drugs, but you have to teach your child about medicine usage for the sake of their future self. In this article, you can learn why most kids can’t swallow pills, how to teach them, and how compound pharmacies can help many kids that can’t swallow pills.

Why Most Children Can’t Swallow Pills

Based on their inexperience in many situations, kids usually have worries when faced with situations they consider potentially harmful. One of such situations is taking pills.  Many children are afraid of choking on the tablets due to the possible previous experience with choking on similar-sized substances.

Besides the fear of choking, there may be some anatomical reasons like the child’s tongue having a forward thrust that pushes food forward or an undeveloped oral musculature that doesn’t expand and constrict well enough when swallowing a pill. Also, some children may have an overactive gag reflex that makes them repel the drug.

Tips on How to Teach a Child to Swallow a Pill or Capsule

If your child can’t swallow pills easily and you have figured out why, you can try various ways to help your child learn how to swallow pills. By understanding your child’s reason for not taking the drugs, you can teach them how to with the most suitable methods.

It’s noteworthy that when teaching your child to swallow pills, you should be gentle with them and not rush them into making dangerous mistakes. Also, being supportive and non-judgmental during the teaching process will help your child’s confidence because you are not being harsh on them and making them feel like a failure.

Use Candy for Practice

Age 4 is an excellent period to begin teaching your child to swallow pills or tablets with candy examples. Since candy is sweet, it will remove any fear of bitterness and enable your kid to agree to the exercise. To get them fully interested and eliminate the fear of choking, you can swallow the candy first, to demonstrate to your child how safe it is.

Use Lubricants on The Throat

To help kids swallow, you can get pill-swallowing lubricant sprays that help the pills or capsules slide down the throat easily. This method can help a child with an undeveloped muscular system or previous choking experience get used to swallowing pills.

Apply Gel on the Pill

Teaching children to swallow a pill can become easier with the introduction of a gel to be coated around the gel. Since the drug will be covered in a different texture, it will allow the child to ignore the discomforting feel of the drug and swallow it with ease.

Bury the Capsules in a Teaspoon of Food

If the child’s pediatrician, doctor, or pharmacist permits it, putting a pill in a teaspoon of soft food can be an effective trick for getting children to swallow even bitter pills. Since they will see the food and not the drug, it can trick their brain into swallowing the pill without trouble.

Leaning Forward

Swallowing a pill with a drink while leaning forward can help kids learn to swallow a pill quickly. The method works well because it involves tilting the head while swallowing, allowing the drug to move rapidly to the back of the head toward the throat.

Drink Loads of Water

Parents can help kids get comfortable swallowing tablets by teaching them to take them after a big gulp of water. This method takes practice because the kid has to visualize the swallowing process before putting the tablets in the mouth.

Alternatives to Swallowing Pills

Despite the listed tips for helping kids learn how to swallow a pill, parents may still find it hard to teach them. This may be caused by the inability to remove the kid’s innate fear of swallowing or the continued existence of the forward tongue thrust.

Therefore, getting an alternative to tablets may be necessary, allowing parents to succeed in taking care of their kids without the trouble of getting them to swallow the pills.

how to get a child to swallow a pill
Liquid medication works well as an alternative to pills that require swallowing.

Liquid Medications

If you can’t get your child to swallow tablets or they swallowed the pills but had to vomit them due to an overactive gag reflex, it may be an excellent idea to consider liquid medicine. Since your child has issues with solid tablets, swallowing liquid medicine will go smoothly.

Since there are different forms of liquid medicine, the medicines may be measured in medicine cups, dosing spoons, or syringes. Adults have to help the kids measure the prescribed dosage to prevent mishaps.

Chewable Medications

Instead of swallowing tablets straight, chewable medications will allow your child to bite the medicines into tiny chunks, which will be easily swallowed. Interestingly, constant practice with this alternative can help kids get used to swallowing because they eventually swallow the chewable medication.

Chewable medication for kids usually comes in various sizes, tastes, odor, feel, and aesthetic designs to appeal to them and get them excited to use the medicine. This ensures that your child will get used to drugs and will listen to professional medical advice when they grow up.

How Compound Pharmacies Can Help A Child With Trouble Swallowing Pills

Learning how to get a child to swallow a pill may prove useless if the child has a profound psychological fear of swallowing pills. It may even be impossible to get them to swallow if they have an overactive gag reflex.

Given such information, the optimal action is to give the kids alternative medicines like liquid and chewable medications. These alternatives will help the kids use medicine and get used to them without trouble.

Compound pharmacies are essential because they can customize the pills into alternative forms. At Fort Worth Pharmacy, we are experts in customizing compound medications and will ensure that your child gets their medicines in liquid, chewable, or any other form you desire.

Our state-of-the-art pharmaceutical equipment offers a wide range of customizable options for your kid’s medications. Speak with a Fort Worth pharmacist today to learn more about how we can help you and your child.

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