It may be easier than you think to learn how to take pills or to teach children how to take pills. If an adult or child can swallow chunky textured food like oatmeal or chunky applesauce without gagging or choking, and can swallow mouthfuls of water, he or she can usually learn to swallow pills. While a toddler is too young to learn to swallow pills, a 6- or 7-year-old child should be ready to learn — some even sooner.
There are several methods with proven track records in teaching children and adults this skill. One method involves a simple behavioral program developed by the New York University Child Study Center that uses tiny candy jimmies to start the process and works up to swallowing Tic Tacs. To learn more about this program, click here. Another pill swallowing method was developed by Dr. Bonnie Kaplan of the University of Calgary. This method provides videos to support training sessions which focus on head positions when swallowing a pill. To learn more about this program, click here. Both training resources have been highly successful and are available FREE on the Internet.