Holiday Season Plane Travel & Kids

This holiday season, are you planning to travel by plane with young children in tow? With a little planning, flying can be enjoyable and not filled with tears and fussing.

Flying by air with young children may seem like a daunting task. After all, we’ve probably all sat near a crying baby and thought how frustrating it must be to travel with an unhappy tyke. But with a little preparation, air travel with young children can go off without a hitch.

First, if your flight isn’t too long, try to arrange it around your child’s naptime. If it is a long flight, consider flying later in the day, or in the early evening when a child may fall asleep for part of the flight. Also take advantage of the many conveniences airlines offer such as children’s meals, headsets, and even activity sets. And once you’re in the air, it’s wise to prevent boredom by keeping your child occupied explains in-flight safety manager Christine Holiday. “It’s really important that you keep your children active while they’re on the plane because children aren’t aware of the time factor. I recommend bringing a lot of little activities and books to keep them occupied. There’s not a lot for them to see once above the clouds.” Take advantage of the children’s programming on the flight, and bringing along your own device for them to watch shows or play games on can also be a big help.

Holiday adds that parents are doing themselves a favor by arriving early to take advantage of preboarding. “We recommend that you get to the airport so that you have lots of time to make the arrangements and last minute trips to the bathroom. The airlines offer preboarding assistance that allows you to get settled in seats before the rest of the passengers get on. In addition, you’ll get any preflight briefing important to those who have children on board.”

Another reminder is that children can find take-off and landing uncomfortable on their ears, so have your infant nurse, or give her a pacifier or a bottle. For the older child, candy or gum can ease the ear blockage. And of your child has a cold, see your doctor before traveling. He may recommend you re-arrange your trip for another time, as flying can be extremely painful for children’s ears when they have a cold.

Finally, if your child finds flying upsetting, don’t fret too much. When all is said and done, plane trips are relatively short and before you know it you’ll be back on the ground either safe at home or enjoying what will be a memorable vacation together.

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Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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