Parents teach their children how to tie their shoes, say their ABCs, and brush their teeth among many other common life skills. However, many forget or don’t recognize the importance of ensuring their child has learned how to swallow pills.
Throughout this blog you will learn the importance of proactively teaching your child at a young age.
Included is a short video, a real life example, summary of the risks by not taking action, and some simple steps to help your child learn.
Check out this animated video for a brief introduction on the topic!
A mother shared with me that she was going on vacation and was at the airport with her children. Her daughter was having an allergic reaction and breaking out in hives. There was no liquid medication available, so she gave her child a pill form of Benadryl. This was her daughter’s first experience trying to swallow pills - in an airport, breaking out in hives, right before her flight. Not only was her daughter unsuccessful, but this experience has left her unable to swallow pills. The mom expressed feeling helpless, as her daughter has since been diagnosed with ADHD and is unable to swallow the medication she needs to help focus in school.
Many children’s first experiences learning how to swallow pills are under stress when they are ill or the medication is needed. Learning any skill under stress can result in a negative experience. This is exactly what happened to our mom who became part of the 40% of adult Americans who struggle or can’t swallow pills.
The negative experience creates a mental barrier causing fear and anxiety the next time a person tries to swallow pills, just like the little girl in the airport. This gives your child a future risk of becoming part of the 40%.
5 simple steps to help your child learn to swallow pills:
- Calm Environment - Creating a calm, distraction-free environment is critical for your child’s success. This can be somewhere where your child feels comfortable and has the ability to focus.
- Role Model - If you know how to swallow pills, be a model for your child. Sit with good posture and your head facing forward. Place the pill in your mouth, take a sip of water, and swallow. If you are unable to swallow pills yourself, it may be practical to practice alongside them reassuring that you’re both in this together.
- Positive Reinforcement - Encourage your child by providing compliments and rewards when they are successful. This will turn a challenging skill into a more exciting one and give them confidence, ultimately aiding in their progression.
- Tips & Tricks - Follow the 9 Easy Tips to Learn How to Swallow Pills With Bonus Tip - The Pill Skills Method.
- Pill Skills Beginner Kit - Use the Pill Skills Beginner Kit which comes with practice pills increasing in size, grouped into 7 levels. This allows for repeated success, building the child’s confidence. The kit also includes detailed instructions, a progress log, as well as helpful hints that can be used if the child starts struggling.
Not only is learning how to swallow pills more convenient and cost effective, but it also gives peace of mind. As a parent you can have comfort in knowing that your child can swallow pills if the time of need arises. This ultimately allows your child to live a happier, healthier life.
Has your child learned to swallow pills yet? Why or why not?
Let us know in the comments below.