I always thought it was part of the deal. That is, until my son's pediatrician shared a nifty tip that WORKS. Fun part: she learned it from one of her patients. As she was giving a little boy a throat culture, the 4 year old grabbed his forefinger with his other hand. He was gripping that finger with all his might. The doctor asked him what he was doing. He exclaimed "It's so I won't gag." And he didn't. No one does, if they remember to do it.
Having witnessed it work with my own little guy time and time again, I truly believe it is the answer. Try it! Just squeeze your index finger with the other hand while that swab is going down your throat. It is hard to believe that it stops the gag reflex....but it does!
Love this tip?
Child Getting Throat Culture by David Costillo Domenici Freedigital Photos