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At what age do you expect kids to be able to swallow medicine (small tablets)?

My daughter is 9.5yo... she just wasted two doses of her medicine (antibiotics to try and kick this crud all three of my kids have had for over a week now) because she wouldn't swallow them and kept making herself puke... she took a bigger one than these just a few days ago, after much fighting and arguing but she took it, this time she just got so hysterical she ended up puking all over herself and the floor and threw up both pills in the trash... i don't know whether to call the doctor and ask for more or just try and get her to take the rest for the next few days and hope its enough... she only had to take 2 today and 1 for the next four days, she has 3 left cause she wasted the first two and we finally just let her chew the 3rd one although I really don't think they are supposed to be chewables... Sigh.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:17 PM on Dec. 17, 2012 in Kids' Health

Answers (18)
  • My son was able to swallow pills at the age of 4. I wasn't able to until I was an adult. Is she able to take it with food such as applesauce, yogurt, etc?


    Answer by JeremysMom at 5:19 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • We didn't try until 8, and he's not had a problem since we started.

    Definitely do not let her chew them. I'd say try the applesauce, you should not use dairy with antibiotics, it makes them harder to absorb.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:25 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • It all depends on the kid. Me and my oldest didn't have issues with pills. But my youngest brother did. My mom would crush  pills up and put it in syrup. Don't they make meds for kids as liquid now days.

    My DH hate taking vitamins. He says they are to big.  He take the adults chewables.


    Answer by louise2 at 5:27 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • It depends on the child. I had a very small throat until I was in my teens and at 14 I had my tonsils out. I had no problem after that. It could be that her throat is too swollen to swallow them and the stress just makes it tighter. Can't you get it in liquid form?

    Answer by Dardenella at 5:27 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • I asked the doctor for the liquid form and he said she was too big/old already that they have to do it in the tablets, i think i'll try the applesauce tomorrow and see if that's easier... she does have problems with her throat as it is and I really wish we would've looked into getting her tonsils out earlier on, we just didn't have a consistent doctor when she was younger who could spot the patterns, kwim? :-/

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:32 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • They've all been able to since 3-4. 5yo can swallow tiny ones, 7/9/10yos can all swallow bigger ones. When they need meds I give them the choice if they want liquid or pills. Sounds like your DD's on a z-pack - still available in liquid form for her age! She's gonna need all the days so call the dr/pharmacist.

    Answer by idareyou at 5:44 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • I asked the doctor for the liquid form and he said she was too big/old already

    There's no such thing as too "big" for liquid, you just need more of it. Some people have legitimate medical reasons to need liquid their entire lives.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:51 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • You will be doing her a disservice by not teaching her how to swallow pills, she willl then turn into an adult with a pill handicap!!!!!!!!! I have a 28 year old niece who is like this.....not good not to mention embarrasing.....


    Answer by older at 5:54 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • If it is a big pill, break it half but teach her the best way to swallow it...

    Answer by older at 5:55 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

  • don't let her chew them- I guess if you ask for liquid you can go with that-and avoid the pill.
    On the doctors the other day they addressed this- some people can swallow them no problem -and some just can't for whatever reasons. They said to try with little candies-to practice so you get used to how it feels and such and that can help- otherwise ask for liquid forms of the drug
    and never to chew one that isn't a chewable- they have coatings for a reason

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 6:16 PM on Dec. 17, 2012

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