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Tips And Tricks For Helping Kids Swallow Liquid Medications And Pills

We’ve all been there. It is time for your child to take their medicine, but they are just not having it. No one thinks it’s fun to take their medicine, but they do it anyway because it makes them feel better. This is something kids are often too young to understand.


Getting your child to take their medicine can be challenging. This is why we have compiled a list of 10 tips and tricks for helping your child swallow liquid medications and pills. 

10 Tips For Helping Kids Take Their Medicine

You’re not alone! Every parent struggles with getting their child to take medications. These 10 tips are parent and doctor-approved for helping your child swallow both liquid medications and pills.

    1. Give The Child Some Control

Giving the child some control when it comes to medicine can often make the process much smoother. This can include them holding the medicine cup as they drink the liquid or holding onto the pill themselves. Doctors and nurses even use this tactic when performing exams, as it helps kids feel more comfortable and in control of the situation.

    2. Improve The Flavor

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about flavoring any liquid medications to subdue the bad taste. Many pharmacies can now flavor medicine to taste like grape, cherries, and other yummy foods.

    3. Explain The Purpose Of The Medicine

If your child is old enough to understand, explain the purpose of this medication. This might make them more willing to take it. It is hard to want to put something in your mouth that tastes bad if you don’t understand why you are doing it.

    4. Mix Your Child’s Medications With Food

Not all medicines allow this, so be sure to ask your doctor before mixing medication with food. If the doctor approves it, slip the medication into their favorite food to minimize the taste. This often works best with soft foods such as ice cream or mashed potatoes.

    5. Break The Dose Into Smaller Amounts

Whether it is a pill or liquid medication, you can break the dose into smaller amounts to limit the amount going down at once. Many children choke a bit when taking a large dose of liquid medicine due to the taste. The same occurrence happens with chewable pills. Divide their dose into a couple of bites or swallows to limit the overwhelming taste.

    6. Offer Rewards

Sometimes, the best route to go is offering a reward to the child for quickly and effectively taking their medications. This minute you bring up a reward it is as if the bad taste of the medicine has disappeared. Some may consider it bribery, but it is worth it to know your child is taken care of. 

    7. Try A New Form Of Delivery

The best way to deliver medicine varies by child. Some children are more compliant when given a syringe of liquid medicine, whereas other children prefer liquid medicine in a medicine cup. For pills, some children are great at swallowing pills, whereas others need them crushed and chewable. Try multiple types of delivery until you see which works best for your child. 

    8. Bypass The Tounge

The tongue holds most of our taste buds, which is why if the taste is what is upsetting your child, you may want to make it a point to bypass the tongue. Unfortunately, this is pretty impossible with pills unless your child will swallow them.


With liquid medication, you can use a syringe to bypass the tongue and squirt the medicine towards the back of your child’s throat.

    9. Model The Expected Behavior

When you take your medicine, let your child see you. Model great behavior and show them how easy it is to take medicine. Also, explain that your medicine makes you feel better which is why you love to take it.

    10. Lick Ice Beforehand

Ice can temporarily freeze your tastebuds, which is why many experts recommend licking ice before taking your medicine. Have your child get their mouth very cold with ice right before taking their medication. This should limit the effects of its bad taste.


If you are struggling to get your child to take their medicine, try one of the above tips and tricks for swallowing liquid and pills to make medicine time a breeze.

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