Clinical Tip: The straw that breaks the pill-swallowing impasse

October 1, 2006

I have helped many children learn to swallow pills by passing along this tip to parents: Have the child place one M & M mini candy on the side of her tongue. Then instruct her to drink her favorite beverage from a glass with a straw. The child will be amazed to discover that she has swallowed the candy along with the drink-and not felt a thing! Most children easily learn to swallow larger pills using the straw technique, then give up the straw altogether.

I have helped many children learn to swallow pills by passing along this tip to parents: Have the child place one M & M mini candy on the side of her tongue. Then instruct her to drink her favorite beverage from a glass with a straw. The child will be amazed to discover that she has swallowed the candy along with the drink-and not felt a thing! Most children easily learn to swallow larger pills using the straw technique, then give up the straw altogether.

Anne C. Autry, MDCincinnati, Ohio