How to get rid of hiccups has been a question in my house ever since my oldest son was born 12 years ago.  All three of the boys {and myself} often end up with the hiccups. We have tried almost everything from drinking LOTS of water, holding our breath, drinking upside-down and even a spoonful of sugar.

Easy Hiccup Cure for kids and adults - Kids Activities Blog - little girl shown with the hiccups with hand over mouth
We have found the best way to get rid of hiccups!

How to Get Rid of Hiccups Quickly

Incidentally, my kids favorite hiccup cure is the spoonful of sugar, but it unfortunately it has proved to be the least effective!

Up until we learned this best hiccup cure secret, our most effective method was being “scared” out of hiccups.  But once you realize someone is going to scare you, you don’t get scared.

OK, are you ready to hear how to get rid of hiccups?

Two Step Hiccup Cure

It is a simple two-step process to get rid of hiccups:

  1. The person with the hiccups drinks a beverage WHILE
  2. Another person stands behind him/her and pulls DOWN gently on both the hiccuper’s ear lobes.

It works pretty quickly.  Usually a few swallows in, the hiccups disappear.

Why This Hiccup Cure Works Every Time

Scientifically, it appears the sticking fingers in your ears helps stimulate the vagus nerve overloading it to a point where the hiccups stop.

That is it! No more hiccups!

How I Learned How to Stop Hiccups

We were on vacation staying at a roadside hotel in Amarillo, TX on our drive from Texas to Colorado.  The hotel had a buffet breakfast which we were inhaling {foreshadow alert} before the long trip ahead.

My 10 year old had the hiccups.

He was walking {hiccup} around the {hiccup} buffet choosing the food {hiccup} he was going to {hiccup} eat when a stranger {hiccup} approached him.

“Do you want me to show you how to get rid of those?”  

Startled by being approached by a stranger scared the hiccups out of him!  But that is NOT the cure I am talking about.

The man’s wife approached and announced that they knew the secret to 100% hiccup cure to date.  They were a retired couple also traveling and they swore that this was grandkid-tested.  We chatted for awhile.  They shared the secret and I thanked them.

Ever since that day, we have used this hiccup ridding method and it has been 100% effective for us too!

What an easy way to get rid of hiccups!

hiccup cure - Kids Activities Blog - hiccup of hiccups spasm of the dia
What the heck are hiccups?

What are Hiccups?

Hiccups are funny things that just happen and I didn’t know why.  When I did a little hiccup research, I found this was the best explanation of what hiccups actually are…

Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm — the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing. Each contraction is followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords, which produces the characteristic “hic” sound.

Mayo Clinic

I hadn’t thought of why they are called hiccups until I read that description, but you do end up making that “hic” sound over and over.

How long can hiccups last?

Normal hiccups last just a few minutes up to one hour (that sounds miserable), but if your hiccups last longer than a day and start to interrupt your ability to eat or sleep it is recommended you see a doctor.

child with hiccups that wants hiccups to go away  - Kids Activities Blog - child holding hand over mouth
Why do hiccups happen?

How do you get hiccups?

Why do Hiccups happen in Kids?

In kids, the most common reason why hiccups happen is excitement triggering a spasm of the diaphragm  They can also be the result of a large meal or carbonated beverage.  Most cases of hiccups last just a few minutes.  If your child has persistent hiccups that lasts hours, check with your doctor.

Why do Hiccups happen in Adults?

WebMd reports that hiccups happen in adults for multiple reasons like eating too quickly, feeling nervous, stress, drinking carbonated beverages or alcohol, sudden change in temperature or swallowing air.

Hiccup Cure – Other Ways to Get Rid of Hiccups

There are scores of hiccup remedies and I hope you do not need to look beyond the one that worked best for us described above we are always in favor of home remedies:

  1. Check out the hiccaway straws. This straw-like device has a pressure valve inside the McFlurry straw size Hiccaway device. The additional suction you need to exert to get fluid through the straw gives this new device the ability to outperform numerous home remedies for curing hiccups. The downside is that you need to have a hiccaway straws handy next time you have a case of the hiccups.
  2. Breathing into a paper bag has been reported to help eliminate hiccups, but it has never worked for me. Theoretically when you breathe into a paper bag, it elevates the blood’s level of carbon dioxide which calms the contraction of the diaphragm spasms.
  3. Drinking from the opposite side of the glass is one of the most popular old wives’ tales hiccup cures! It is an easy way to describe how to drink water upside down. Simply lean forward and place your lips on the opposite side of the glass you would normally drink from. This is one of the hiccup solutions that have partially worked for us if you are looking for anecdotal experience as a guide!
  4. Eating a spoonful of peanut butter is also a popular cure. Since peanut butter takes awhile to digest, your vagus nerve reacts in a way that slows breathing and stopping the hiccups. For us, this hiccup cure just takes longer and isn’t always effective.
  5. Try the bartender hiccup cure by sprinkling a lemon wedge with bitters. There is more information about the steps here.
hiccups in kids and how to cure hiccups - Kids activities blog - child with hiccups looking up in the air
Will my hiccups ever stop?

How To Prevent Hiccups

To prevent hiccups be careful to:

  • Eat at a normal pace.
  • Keep your stress level in check.
  • Watch your carbonated beverage and alcohol intake.
  • Dress for the weather.
  • Be conscious of not swallowing air when chewing gum or eating candy.

Longest Bout of Hiccups Recorded

The vast majority of cases of hiccups last just a few minutes and resolve without adverse effects. As a proof that hiccups won’t kill you, check out the story of Charles Osborne and his intractable hiccups.

Charles Osborne started hiccoughing in 1922 while attempting to weigh a hog before slaughtering it. He was unable to find a cure, but led a normal life in which he had two wives and fathered eight children. He continued until a morning in February 1990.

Guinness World Records, Guinness Book of World Records Longest Attack of Hiccups
Yield: 1 cure

How to Get Rid of Hiccups

How to get rid of hiccups - child with hiccups shown

You have tried all the traditional hiccup cures and your child still has the hiccups! Here is the one that has worked for us 100% of the time to cure the hiccups.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $0

Materials

  • Glass of water

Tools

  • An additional person available to assist

Instructions

  1. The person with the hiccups drinks from the glass of water WHILE...
  2. The assisting person stands behind and gently pulls DOWN on both the hiccuper's ear lobes.

Notes

This usually works within a few swallows of water.

More Hiccups Info & Fun from Kids Activities Blog

How did this hiccup cure work for you?  Please let me know in the comments below if you have a way to cure hiccups that we didn’t mention.



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88 Comments

  1. A simpler, less conspicuous cure you can do by yourself: Within the first two hiccups, grab your right earlobe. Works instantly every time for me. If I forget, however, and grab it after the third hiccup, it might not work. So maybe it would work with the glass of water at that point.

  2. A very strange one that works if you are on your own and have no water or anyone to pull your ears down is swallow your saliva twice , sometimes you need to repeat it , but can easily be done if you are in a crowded place , public transport , etc without anyone knowing , trust me it works every time

  3. Fracking STOP…. WHY and also HOW. I no word of a lie I have had the most aggressive hiccups since 8;17pm the day before yesterday. It is 1:38am. I was sincerely wondering if I was going to have to call my doctor about hiccups. I have a method that has worked almost my whole life, but it has let me down. Then I read this, found myself a drinking straw, sat down, literally said out loud to my dog Rally, “Bro, whatch this, no way this actually works… No way…” Tryied it….. Hiccups stopped straight away. You and the buffet couple are legends. Thank you.

  4. As a retired teacher, I have found the most full-proof method to eliminate hiccups is to tell the person to stand on his head. Never had it fail.