Interventions Can Help Children Be At Ease Swallowing Pills

Children frequently have problems swallowing pills. One study found that more than 50 percent of children were unable to swallow a standard size pill or capsule.

The authors of the review article, “Effectiveness ofPediatric Pill Swallowing Interventions: A Systematic Review,” appearing in the May 2015 issue of Pediatrics, (published online April 20) sought to evaluate studies performed on pill swallowing interventions in children since 1987.

Problems swallowing pills can arise from a variety of causes including the child’s stage of development, fear, anxiety or intolerance to unpleasant flavors.

While there is limited research on pill swallowing interventions for children, the authors did find five studies with successful interventions. They found that behavioral therapy, flavored throat spray, specialized pill cups, simple verbal instruction and head posture training all help children swallow pills easier. Also, pill swallowing training as young as 2 years of age helped increase the likelihood of ease of pill swallowing.

Published

4/20/2015 12:30 AM