Try getting rid of the pesky—hic!—things with one of these doctor-approved tricks for helping toddlers and school-age kids stop hiccupping.

By Emily Elveru
June 05, 2020
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These diaphragm spasms may actually help babies learn how to regulate their breathing, found a study from University College London. But past the age of diapers and snot bubbles, hiccupping is just an annoying side effect that typically occurs after your kid eats too fast or inhales lots of air.

Looking for ways to help your kid get rid of them? Give one of these tricks a try. “We don’t know how well the remedies work because they haven’t been tested scientifically, but they are harmless and may help,” says Howard Bennett, M.D., a pediatrician in Washington, D.C., and author of the children’s book The Fantastic Body.

Hold Your Breath

Have your child take a deep breath as if he’s about to blow out birthday candles and hold it for 15 to 30 seconds. Wait a minute and repeat the action if it doesn’t work the first time. He could get dizzy while doing this, so make sure he’s sitting on the couch.

Swallow Sugar

Place a teaspoon of it on your child’s tongue and have her gulp it down. (Yes, we did just grant you full permission to give your kid sugar. It’s for a good cause!)

Breathe into a Paper Bag

Have your child steady his breath by slowly inhaling and exhaling into the bag ten to 15 times. (Again, have him do this while sitting in case he gets dizzy.)

Drink Water

Fill a 6-ounce glass, and get your kid to sip the water as quickly as possible.

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's July 2020 issue as “What the Hiccup.” Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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