Swallowing Made Simple

Mark Vakkur, MD

Here are some ideas borrowed from McNeil Pharmaceuticals to help kids who have trouble swallowing pills:

Swallowing is a natural reaction that occurs when something is on the back of your tongue.

Your body is designed to keep your from choking when swallowing a pill.

A flap called an EPIGLOTTIS closes over your windpipe to keep the pill from going down your windpipe.

Tips on Swallowing

- Sit or stand up straight.

- Don't talk.

- Gargle for 30 seconds before you begin swallowing.

- Take one or two swallows of milk or juice before you take your pill to help make your tongue and throat more slippery.

- Swallow twice just to make sure your pill goes all the way down.

Slippery Fish Swallow

Pretend you love water like a fish. Place the pill inside your mouth, and drink as much water as you can - holding the water in your cheeks.

Now, take a few big gulps until al the water in your mouth is gone, along with the pill!

Crazy Crab Swallow

Pretend you are a crazy crab with pinchers on your hands. Place your pill on the back of your tongue and fill your mouth with your favorite drink.

Now close your mouth and use your pinchers to tickle your throat as you swallow.

Lazy Lizard Swallow

To catch the bugs he needs to eat, the lizard places them on the tip of his tongue and then swallows hard. Try to be a lizard - place your pill on the very tip of your tongue. Take a drink, and tilt your head back as far as you can.