If kids can swallow LEGO, they can swallow tablets, argues pharmacist

A leading pharmacist says parents should be more open to giving kids tablets instead of liquid medicine – because they can already swallow LEGO bricks.

Great Ormond Street Hospital’s chief pharmacist Steve Tomlin spoke to The Pharmaceutical Journal about administering medicine to young patients, suggesting that giving the correct dosage of liquid medicines is tricky, because ‘most drugs are still made for adults’.

“If you’re drawing up a liquid, in terms of volume, there’s often not much difference, but the chances of giving significantly different doses is very high,” he explained – before recommending that more doctors try to give tablets to kids instead, on the basis that they’re already adept at swallowing similarly-sized LEGO elements.

“People talk about the palatability of medicines to children, but it’s liquids that generally taste horrible,” he elaborated. “A lot of tablets don’t taste at all. Therefore, why don’t we try to give them all tablets? Two- and three-year-olds can quite happily swallow a piece of LEGO; therefore, we know they can swallow tablets. It’s more about training the parents.”

While the LEGO Group will probably never shout loud and proud about kids swallowing its elements, it’s probably still happy to be recognised in what Tomlin refers to as a potential ‘advance’ in child medicine: specifically, 3D printing ‘mini-tablets’ to administer tailored doses.

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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