TUTORING YOUR CHILD HOW TO TAKE MEDICATIONS
What Are the Benefits of Teaching Children to Swallow Pills?
Taken for granted until we have a child who needs it, swallowing a tablet is a vital task. The anxiousness and stubbornness of some youngsters can make it difficult for them to swallow medicines.
Chewable and liquid medicines are two of the most common forms of medication. There are, however, some medications that are better taken as a tablet or pill. Crushing or chewing some tablets, even if they are designed to be consumed whole, can cause problems. Depending on the situation, this could be harmful or even render them useless. Some drugs take a few hours to take effect, rather than working immediately. If the pill or tablet takes on a new shape, this won’t be an issue.
The ability to swallow a pill, like any other talent, requires practice. A well-timed and well-executed teaching effort will help your child develop self-confidence.
When Is the Best Time for Children to Start School?
A child’s ability to swallow a pill differs based on their age. It is important not to make comparisons between your child and others, especially your own. A good rule of thumb is that kids should be at least 4 years old and in a stage where they are agreeable and eager to learn.
Prior to the time when your child will need to take medication, you can begin the process. To begin, use a very modest amount, such as a sprinkle on ice cream or a cake. Gradually raise the candy’s size after a few successful attempts (mini-chocolate chips or chocolate chips may work). A non-chewable vitamin can then be substituted.
Practice in a quiet place, away from electronic devices and other potential sources of distraction. Your child won’t be able to master this ability in a day or two. For the next two weeks, practice 5–10 minutes a day.
It’s a good idea to review previous accomplishments with youngsters before they take their first big medication (like riding a tricycle or tying a shoelace). Make sure they understand the importance of taking their medication and why they should do so. Afterwards, model the behavior. Make sure your children see you taking a prescription or multivitamin before they get their turn.
Even if things don’t go according to plan the first time your child takes a tablet, keep a cheerful attitude and stay calm. Accomplishments should be given to children who are striving. When taking medication, it is important that you do not have any unpleasant side effects. You may establish distrust in your child’s mind if, for example, you sneak a drug into his or her food and get caught.
In order to ingest a pill, children should:
- Sit upright with their head centered and straight.
- A little inclination of the head. Sucking becomes more difficult when you lean back too much.
- You can “practice” swallowing by drinking a few sips of water.
- Once they’ve swallowed the pill, give them another sip of water. (Having kids use straws can sometimes assist.)
If the tablet does not need to be taken on an empty stomach, sips of milk or a milkshake can be consumed instead of water. A semi-solid item like pudding, ice cream, or applesauce may be a better option for dissolving the pill for you.
If your child successfully swallows the pill, give them a pat on the back. If it doesn’t work, try again. Stop and take a break if your youngster refuses. You can give it another go at a later time. Ask the pharmacist if it’s safe to divide the pill into smaller pieces if your child has difficulty swallowing it.
In What Situations Is It Necessary to See the Doctor?
Most children can learn to swallow a pill with patience and practice. However, some students, like the following, may find it difficult:
- Afraid about new medications or new experiences for children.
- Children who have had a terrible experience trying to swallow a medication (such as gagging or vomiting).
- Oral-motor problems in children (such as stuttering or an unwillingness to consume particular food textures), developmental delays, and behavioral issues (which could include refusing to take any medicine)
The best course of action for these children is to postpone training and consult with a doctor beforehand. Liquid or chewable tablets are other possible dosage forms, as are liquid capsules or tablets that dissolve in the mouth.
If you’re unsure about giving your child a drug, read the label carefully and see your doctor or pharmacist.
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