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Reporting a Medication Error

Learn to swallow pills

It may be easier than you think to learn how to take pills or to teach children how to take pills. If an adult or child can swallow chunky textured food like oatmeal or chunky applesauce without gagging or choking, and can swallow mouthfuls of water, he or she can usually learn to swallow pills. While a toddler is too young to learn to swallow pills, a 6- or 7-year-old child should be ready to learn — some even sooner.

There are several resources available in teaching children and adults this skill. One was developed by Dr. Bonnie Kaplan of the University of Calgary. This method provides videos to support training sessions that focus on head positions when swallowing a pill. To learn more about this program, click here.

Another resource available has been released by John Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Use this link to view a video offering parents skills to help their child learn to swallow a pill.

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