If you’re planning airline travel with your child(ren) this summer, make the trip more enjoyable by bringing along fun things to keep them busy, and prepare to keep the kids healthy.
For children who have never flown before the plane noises, motions and ear popping can be scary. Air pressure in the plane decreases as you go higher and increases as you go lower.
- Practice showing them to yawn and swallow when they feel their ears “clogging up”. This will help their Eustachian tubes in the ears to adjust to the air pressure and create a popping sound.
- Remind them to drink plenty of water during the flight, the swallowing aids in opening the Eustachian tubes. Additionally, as the air is dry, it thickens nasal mucus, making it more likely for the Eustachian tubes to become clogged.
- Don’t drink or allow your children to drink caffeinated sodas, coffee or tea before or during the flight. Caffeine dehydrates the body, will keep them up and can cause nausea, headaches and stomach aches while in the air.
- Keep the children up awake during takeoff and landing as we don’t swallow as often when sleeping.
- For children over 3 years, chewing gum or sucking on hard candy during takeoff and landing has been known to decrease the discomfit as well.
- If your child is experiencing ear pain, acetaminophen or ibuprofen is taken approximately 30 minutes before takeoff or landing (especially for long flights) is very helpful. Continue dosage if the pain continues after the flight.
- For infants bring along pacifier.
- Try bottle or breastfeeding during takeoff and landing. If your baby is bottle fed, place your child in an upright position while drinking.
- Consult your physician as to whether or not to continue to take any prescribed medications that contain antihistamines or decongestants, for the flight.
Contact your physician/ENT specialist if your child is experiencing ear ache immediately or visit an emergency room if he/she is complaining of severe pain and/or is running a fever.
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