Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

How do you teach someone to take tablets?

(29 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Mon 12-May-14 19:41:34

I've just discovered tonight that almost 13 year old dd can not take a tablet.

Tried practising with raisins, just about managed to get one down.

I think we must be mollycoddling kids these days with liquid antihistamines, fast melts etc.

I was taking tablets much younger than her. Surely as she gets older she's going to have to learn.

gamerchick Mon 12-May-14 19:43:01

Glass of milk? Or bite it in half and take it in 2 parts with a glass of milk?

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 12-May-14 19:44:02

Is milk better than water?

Whocares568975 Mon 12-May-14 19:47:40

I used to have trouble taking tablets when younger, even quartered ones would sometimes not go down. I don't think it's a generational thing, just one of those psychological problems we all have of varying things. She will grow out of it eventually. In the meanwhile, try getting her the soluble versions of everything.

stargirl1701 Mon 12-May-14 19:48:27

I can't do it and I'm in my thirties!

AuntySib Mon 12-May-14 19:49:05

Funnily enough, did this last night with 13 year old DS. He said " I can't!"
I said "you're bigger than me now, of course you can. You can swallow dinner in massive gulps without chewing, of course you can take a tablet. " Broke it in half, gave him water, he tried and failed a few times then did it.
Bottom line ( he is youngest of 3 and I put up with a lot more nonsense from elder 2) he knew I meant business. This has worked in number of areas - bedtime, homework etc. I've just got a lot less patience these days and it comes across clearly! He's a lot easier to deal with than his big brothers were, and I think its because I'm tougher!

Whocares568975 Mon 12-May-14 19:49:56

Btw I had the problem up until around my late teens, whereby it slowly fazed out on it's own. Try not to stress her even more about it by trying to force her to learn, that'll only reinforce the psychological barriers and prevent her from growing out of it naturally.

Riverside1 Mon 12-May-14 19:50:33

I taught my 7yr old using tic-tacs as she refuses all liquid medicines and anything that tastes like sweets (children's vitamins etc). She has a very quick gag reflex so if tictacs worked with her i imagine they will work for anyone! She now takes vitamins in morning with water without a murmur.

gamerchick Mon 12-May-14 19:50:44

It might, i've found it's helped in the past if there's a block on swallowing a tablet.

KellyElly Mon 12-May-14 19:52:27

Maybe start with something soft like grapes cut into quarters?

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 12-May-14 19:53:05

She was gagging.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 12-May-14 19:53:27

Not grapes surely, big choke risk.

Pinkje Mon 12-May-14 19:53:31

My dd is the same but she has a funny thing at the back of her throat - her epiglottis protrudes - I get her to crush tablets between 2 spoons and eat with a mouthful of yogurt or nutella.

Hairylegs47 Mon 12-May-14 19:58:14

My dr said to my DD2 ' can you swallow m&ms whole? Then you can swallow tablets'.

She takes them without a murmur now, I just remind her with a look.

Some tablets mustn't be crushed though, the ones with enteric coatings to stop them dissolving before they pass out of the stomach into the intestines.

I can't remember when I started swallowing them whole, I've never found it difficult. We had soluble Dispirin as children, in the days before it was banned.

MrsWinnibago Mon 12-May-14 19:59:42

My 9 year old learned by me telling her to half fill her mouth with water, then to squeeze a pill into the water-filled mouth and to swallow the water with the pill at the same time. She does half a paracetamol with no bother.

Tic tacs, fill mouth with water first then push tablet through lips not touching tongue (to avoid bitter taste with real tablets) swallow while sucking more water in through teeth quickly.

My 4 and 6 year olds has been swallowing omega oil capsules for a year and only need normal drinking water to wash them down now.

I was 16 before I took a tablet. I had a real fear of them and then one day just got over it. Doing them in halves may help to start

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 12-May-14 20:05:23

Yes I thought if read somewhere that some tabletsudnt be crushed.

These were just cold/ flu relief tablets. Good job dd is generally quite healthy (unlike asthmatic / infection prone /hayfever me as a child

Turquoisetamborine Mon 12-May-14 20:09:34

Just stick them in a spoonful of yogurt. The most evil of tablets go down no bother.

mrsspagbol Mon 12-May-14 20:10:26

I struggled with this so much as a child - bloody cod liver oil capsules. I used to throw them behind the sofa!

Pinkje Mon 12-May-14 20:12:10

Oh thanks, hadn't realised I shouldn't get her to crush some. It's feminax she does that with as they're quite large. I'll get her to try the mouthful of water first.

ALifeOfPie Mon 12-May-14 20:12:46

The method buscuitsandbandages suggests is easiest to learn (I still use it sometimes).

Alternatively: If the tablets aren't a kind that have to be taken on an empty stomach, it's also easy to take them with food rather than drink. Take a mouthfull of nice mushable food e.g. a bite of jam sandwich (not a crusty bit though). Chew chew chew till your mouthful is good and ready to swallow then pop the pill into your mouth and swallow the whole lot down together. Then take a drink of something to make sure it is all washed down.

Petal7 Mon 12-May-14 20:13:37

My dd (5) has to take tablets that cannot be crushed/broken. She buries it in a spoon of yoghurt and swallows it down. This seems to work well.

LegoClone Mon 12-May-14 20:22:09

I had issues with tablets as a child - finally got the hang of it by chewing a small piece of bread then sticking half a tablet and water in my mouth and swallowing. Having soft food to swallow helped me overcome the mental block and gagging issues I had with just the tablet.

I can now swallow large tablets without water if required [proud] wink but will still do the water first method, as described by MrsW and biscuits above, through preference.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now