A recent Harris Poll revealed that 40% of Americans have difficulty swallowing pills and only 14% actually tell their doctor, leaving many folks staring at a bottle of pills or supplements that they just can’t swallow.
With six kids, my wife and I found it an important survival tool to teach them how to swallow herbal tablets and supplements as early as possible. By being able to swallow these, the kids survived colds more gracefully, and we survived for years without the headache of worrying about our kids’ health.
Of course, kids are convinced they “can’t do it,” but with a little motivation and training, most of them get the hang of it pretty quickly. Adults can learn how too! Let me offer a simple technique to make this issue a thing of the past.
Here is an interesting technique that works great and makes sense:
Separate your pills into “floaties” and “sinkies” – technical terms I borrowed from my son!
Floaties are those capsules that will float in water.
Sinkies are those heavier pills that will sink in water.
The idea of this technique is to get the pill to go easily towards the back of the mouth so that, with a quick swallow, the pill goes down the hatch.
Floatie Technique – First put some water and then the floatie pill in your mouth. Then, tip your head forward and the floatie pill will “float ” to the back of the throat, making it easy to swallow. At that point, you can either just swallow, or quickly tip the head back and swallow.
Sinkie Technique – Put some water and then the sinkie pill in your mouth. Then slightly tip the head back – the sinkie pill will “sink” to the back of the throat. Then, just swallow!
Both techniques get the pill to the back of the throat as quickly as possible and as far back as possible, eliminating any effort and making the whole process a lot faster.
You can practice with these foods that either float or sink:
Sinkies: Sunflower seeds and raisins, or chocolate chips and M&M’s if you are willing to use sugar.
Floaties: Cheerios or natural “O’s” cereal works great!
Some Other Techniques to Try:
- Drink through a straw while swallowing a pill.
- Swallow the pill with a carbonated beverage.
- Chew some food and then introduce the pill, and swallow them both together.