Did you ever get the hiccups? Of course you did, we have all had them at one time or another, so you know just how annoying and, tiring they can be. For many of us it is just a sporadic problem solved by various (usually unsuccessful) techniques of, getting someone to give you a fright, drinking water upside down, holding your breath, etc. But for some, in particular, anyone undergoing chemotherapy or those suffering from the after effects of a general anaesthetic hiccups are more than a nuisance, they reduce one’s quality of life.
Mallory Kievman tried swallowing saltwater, making herself gag, eating a spoonful of sugar, sipping pickle juice and, the old faithful, drinking a glass of water upside down, when her hiccups would not budge back in 2012. Nearly two years later the 13-year-old is teaming up with a group of M.B.A. students from the University of Connecticut to build a company that can bring her Hiccupops, or hiccup-stopping lollipops, to the market this summer. She had developed the product in her family’s home in Connecticut, combining her three favourite cures, lollipops, apple cider vinegar and sugar, into a single confection. “It triggers a set of nerves in your throat and mouth that are responsible for the hiccup reflex arc,” said Mallory, “It basically over-stimulates those nerves and cancels out the message to hiccup.”
The young entrepreneur hopes Hiccupops will become a permanent fixture in school nurses’ offices and pharmacies. She also wants to explore a medical niche, “It always has been really appealing to me to be able source a product out there that can help people,” she said. “I want to become a doctor and go into medicine.”
www.hiccupops.com is not yet fully developed, it is merely an enquiry form which you can fill out if you want to know when the product goes international.
Well done to this enterprising young woman for bringing this product to the market. Let’s hope it is more effective and less undignified than drinking water upside down.