I can’t believe I am saying this, but I want my kid to pop pills. I’ve always been worried about having to teach him not to pop pills that I never even thought about the fact that, at some point in time, he would have to learn to take the good pills. Well, you know what I mean. Anyway, that time has come. My little Daniel suffers from seasonal allergies, and he needs some relief.
He has been doing fine with children’s chewable Claritin tablets, but they are very inconvenient. They are hard to find, and rather expensive. Then we found out that his children’s chewables were the same dose as the adult pills. We checked, and sure enough, he can take the adult dose! The only difference between the two is that you can chew one and not the other. Seeing as we can always find the generic adult pills at Sam’s Club for a fraction of the price, the adult pills are the way to go.
That is, if Daniel could learn to swallow pills. I immediately dreaded the idea of trying to get Daniel to swallow pills, because I remember I had trouble learning to swallow pills when I was little. I had it in my head that I couldn’t do it, and there was nothing my parents could do to change it. They had to crush up my medicine and put it in a teaspoon of water until I was about 30 (ok, not really 30, but I could have been as much as 14, I don’t remember). Daniel, for better or worse, has inherited my dramatics. We tried to get him to swallow it, and he couldn’t. It ended up being a melted, awful tasting mess in his mouth.
After that ordeal, I had an idea. I actually got the idea from our dog. When our dog has to have a pill, I wrap it in bread, then he wolfs it down in one gulp. I didn’t think that would work with Daniel, but it got me thinking. I made practice pills out of bread. I got out a piece of bread, tore off a little piece, and shaped it into the size of a pill. I gave him the bread pill, and told him to eat it. He said he couldn’t. I gave him a whole bite of bread, and let him go through the process of chewing and swallowing. “See how much bread you just swallowed? Don’t you think you can swallow this little piece?”
So he tried, and he did it. Then we practice using water to wash it down. It worked. The next day, we handed him a Claritin, and he swallowed it right down. First try. High-fives all around. We are now the proud owner of a pill-popping seven-year-old boy.
I know some parents of children with allergies and with ADHD who have had similar struggles with pill popping so I wanted to share what worked for us.
Disclaimer: In our case, children’s Claritin and the adult Claritin are the same dose. All medicines vary. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you are giving your child the right medicine. I am an advocate of using the least amount of medicine possible to get the job done.