If Your Kid Has to Swallow Pills, This Brilliant Hack Can Help

Pile of Cheerios

Daily battles.

Endless spoons.

Inconsistent measurement.

Home administration of medication to preschoolers is fraught with challenge. Liquid medication or pills you crush and mix with liquids or puddings are messy. The unpleasant taste can be impossible to disguise, and children are understandably reluctant to comply. Using a common food spoon as a measurement is imprecise, and such imprecision can have adverse health consequences for your child.

Fortunately, if your child’s medication is available in pill form, the daily battle can end. Even preschoolers can learn to swallow pills with very little training, and the training process itself can actually be fun!

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The key to teaching children to swallow pills is to arrange a way for them to practice the skill in a safe, stress free-way, without actually ingesting the medication. Enter the humble toasted oat cereal: Cheerios. Yes, Cheerios.

Create the right environment

First, ensure that you begin the training at a time and place that is most conducive to learning. This means that the place should be quiet and familiar to the child. Avoid choosing a time when you or your child are anxious or ill. Make sure to slate out plenty of time so you are not subconsciously pressuring your child to acquire the skill quickly so you can move on to the next event in your schedule.

Frame the task in an appealing way

Present the training as a “game.” What you call the game is up to you. The “Nochu” (no chew) game is a name that’s easy for a child to grasp, and will keep the goal top of mind as you continue. It is important to make the training fun for the child and to reward the behavior – and progress toward the desired behavior –…

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