Saturday, April 10, 2010

Creating Pill Poppers

A few weeks ago we took the girls to the doctor because they were complaining about sore throats.  Given that several friends already had strep throat, we had a pretty good idea about what was going on.  It wasn't a surprise when the doctor diagnosed them with strep and wrote a prescription for antibiotics.

While he was deciding what to prescribe, he looked at me and said, "They don't swallow pills yet, do they?" 

I hadn't thought about whether they were old enough to start swallowing small pills yet until he asked.  The only pills they take regularly are vitamins, and those are chewable.  I have to say I like the idea that they can start taking pills instead of liquid medicines -- better dosage control, more portable, etc.  I just never thought about how old someone should be to try swallowing pills.

The decision to see if they could swallow a pill whole wasn't something we discussed.  It just happened.  We bought a vitamin supplement that wasn't chewable.  It's tiny, so it seemed like a good time to try it.

We gave them the vitamins and explained how to swallow a tablet.  The brunette twin popped it in her mouth, drank some milk and swallowed the pill.  It was quick and easy.  She was very, very excited to be able to do it.

The blond twin was another story, as expected.  She giggled a bit before putting the pill into her mouth.  She sat for a second with a big smile on her face before trying to drink some milk.  She couldn't put any milk in her mouth because she wouldn't stop smiling.  She finally put about a tablespoon of milk in her mouth and swallowed.  Not surprisingly, she didn't swallow the tablet.  She tried again and again, but never did swallow the vitamin.  Eventually she just crunched it. 

We tried again a few days later, without any success.  We're a week into the "teach the girls to swallow pills" experiment.  The problem is she loves the attention.  She likes it when we all try to "help" her swallow the tablet.  The last time I just walked away after giving her the vitamin.  I thought if I left, she would get it down since she wouldn't get any attention from me.  I was wrong.  It turns out she's doesn't need me.  She has her sister.

The two of them have this big production now.  It's a funny mix of giggling, talking, cheering, spilling milk/juice/water down the front of the blond twin's shirt, and making faces.  It's like a big game for them now.

Someday the blond twin will swallow the vitamin and it will be all over.  I just hope that day comes soon.  I'm starting to think we'll run out of vitamins before the girls stop looking at this as a form of entertainment.


Julie K said...

The trick is to put the milk (or drink) in the mouth first, have them tip the head back and throw the pill toward the back of the throat (that way the pill doesn't get stuck on the tongue). They don't even know it's in their mouth (if it's small enough). From lessons learned while trying to help my then pre-teen step-daughter take an ibuprophen pill vs liquid (you can guess why... think 13).

Marketing Mommy said...

My 5 year old has lactose intolerance, but she HATED the chewable Lactaid tabs. Didn't even think an ice cream cone was worth the chalky taste. Then one day, on a whim, I asked her if she could swallow a pill (she was 4 at the time). She'd swallowed gum a few days before and I told her "I don't want you to swallow gum again, but pretend this pill is gum and swallow it down with a drink of water." It worked!