Have you ever experienced flying with kids on a plane?
Hi everyone! Jennifer and I just got back from a trip to Chicago.
For those of you who don’t already know Joy & Laughter Developmental Therapy is in San Jose CA. We did not bring our 2 year old because this was a business trip but it got me thinking. Would I bring my child 2 year old on a plane and if I did how in the world would I entertain them for a 4 hour flight? How would other people in the plane react? I have a kid so I am sympathetic when they cry because their ears hurt. I could hear the parents telling them to yawn or chew gum. I could only imagine the thoughts going through the kids head. “I don’t want to yawn! I am not tired” & “Why is mom trying to get me to chew gum? My breath is fine!” “I just want my ears to stop hurting!” I remember being a child and sitting in my mother’s lap as she held me trying to comfort me in my time of pain. But there is nothing you can do. Or is there? So I did some research and this is what I found, Kid’s health had this to say.
- Drink plenty of decaffeinated fluids (water is best) throughout the flight. Drinking a lot is very important, not only because it encourages swallowing (which makes the Eustachian tubes open), but also because airplane air is dry, which thickens nasal mucus, making it more likely for the Eustachian tubes to become clogged.
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen about a half hour before takeoffs or landings if you know your child has ear pain when flying.
- Chew gum or suck on hard candy (only if your child is over 3 years old).
- Take a bottle or pacifier or breastfeed. If you bottle-feed, make sure your baby is sitting upright while drinking.
- Yawn frequently (if your child can do this intentionally).
- Stay awake for takeoff and landing. During sleep, we don’t swallow as often, so it’s harder to keep the air pressure in the middle ear equalized.
Summary: Hydrate, so mucus is thin. Yawn, suck, chew or perform any movement that allows the jaw to move around. And please don’t let the little ones sleep during takeoff or landing. I have a very bad memory of walking up and crying my eyes out as a child. This would even happen if we went up in the mountains. As a parent I understand the idea of letting my child sleep through the ride but if they don’t fix that pressure issue the child will be hating life when they wake up. The idea of acetaminophen was a new one for me. I guess if you can’t fix the problem treat the symptoms.
So what are the alternatives to the traditional remedies? Well one that I found is called “earplanes” this is a type of ear plug that not only reduces that sound but helps with regulating pressure. And they come in child and adult. The reviews on amazon seem to be relatively good. The biggest complaint seems to be that they only come one set to a box. The price ranges between $4.50 and $7.00. And that does not seem too bad to me. I paid $3 for a bottle of water during my travels last weekend. The only downside would be getting your child to keep them in their ear. Perhaps if mom and dad were doing it too it would look cool “peer pressure!”
Let’s be honest even if ears are not a problem and you bring every toy that child owns they are going to get bored and other people on the plane will notice that there is a child on the plane. Some people just simply have no tolerance for a child. A growing new trend for new parents is to pack goodie bags of candies and earplugs. Essentially letting the people around them know that they are aware of the problem and they will be doing everything they can to keep the child happy and quiet. After researching this I found that there is a big following of people who feel that parents need to stop apologizing for the crying kids and the other passengers have no right to complain. I can see both sides of the argument here. On one hand I paid for my ticket and my child is allowed to be there on the same note there may be other people on the plane festering in their seats hoping for a plane crash because they can’t stand a baby’s cry. What’s your opinion? Would you appreciate a goodie bag? Could you see this causing people to be a little more understanding of their situation? I think if people saw that I was thinking of them it would buy me a few extra miles before they kick me off the pain.
We would love to hear you thought and airplane stories. What has worked for you and what problems have you encountered?