Airline Travel with Children
Airplane travel can be exciting for a child. It can alsopresent challenges. Depending on his or her age, it may be hard for a childto sit for long periods of time in the confined space of an airplane.A benefit of airline travel with children is that the trip takes less time thanby ground. By preparing ahead of time to address thechild’s needs, parents can make a trip more fun for all involved.
What is the information for this topic?
When traveling by plane, the child’s safety, comfort, andenjoyment should all be taken into account. The following are issuesto consider.
The Federal Aviation Administration, known as the FAA,recommends that any child weighing less than 40 pounds be in achild safety seat. Many safety seats commonly used in cars workwell in airplanes too. A seat is safe for this use if the label reads”approved for use in motor vehicles and on aircraft.” Children whoweigh less than 20 pounds should be in a rear-facing safety seat.If the child weighs between 20 and 40 pounds, the safety seatshould face forward. A child weighing more than 40 pounds shoulduse the standard seat belt attached to the aircraft seat.
Before boarding, check with the flight attendant aboutwhere the safety seat should go. Many airlines prefer the child seatto be by a window. While the plane is taking off, be sure the child issafely strapped into the seat. Many airlines allow an infant or toddlerless than age 2 to ride in the lap of an adult passenger. The childdoes not need a separate ticket in this case. At age 2, the FAArequires that children be in their own seats during takeoff and landing.However, some airlines offer “kid fares” or discounts for children’s seats.
Planning travel around the child’s regular schedule maymake the trip more pleasant. For example, a child may sleep forsome or all of a flight scheduled at night or during naptime.
When confirming reservations, or 24 to 48 hours beforethe flight, it is usually possible to request a children’s meal. It is alsoa good idea to carry small snacks such as fresh fruit, dry cereal, ornutrition bars.
Ear problems and motion sickness
The sharp increase or decrease in altitude during takeoff andlanding can cause increased pressure in a child’s ear. Some doctorsmay recommend giving a child a dose of a decongestantbefore the flight. If a child has a history of ear infections, the doctor mayhave other suggestions to decrease ear problems.
Also, it may be helpful to have a child suck on a pacifier orbottle during takeoff and landing. Older children may be encouraged tosuck on a lollipop or to chew gum. The swallowing helps to decreasethe buildup of pressure in the ears. If a child is prone to motion sickness,the doctor may also suggest ways to treat this problem.
Packing for the flight
A bag with items a child will need during the trip should becarried onto the plane. For an infant or toddler, this might include diapers,wipes, bottles, formula, pacifiers, a change of clothes, and spill-proof cups.It is also helpful to pack a “fun bag” containing toys and games to entertainthe child during the flight. Suitable items for plane travel include activitybooks, hand-held computer games, coloring books, crayons, travel games,stickers, scissors, and word games.
Boarding the plane
It is a good idea to arrive at the airport with enough time forthe child to walk around or play before boarding. This can help the childburn off extra energy before being confined in an airline seat. Extra timewill also permit a bathroom visit or diaper change. Often, people withsmall children are allowed to board ahead of other passengers.
Article type: xmedgeneral