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Offered by: Caroline Albert-Martin, MD – Premier Pediatrics

The snow is falling, houses are decorated with lights, and holiday tunes have taken over the radio. Holiday season is here! This is a special time of the year to celebrate holiday traditions with your children, which often involves traveling to visit relatives. Airplane travel with young children can be daunting, so here are a few tips to make your trip safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get through security and make it to your gate. Talk to your kids about what to expect during the security check, especially if it is their first time in the airport. Dress them in layers that are easy to remove. Remember that kids younger than 12 don’t need to remove their shoes or light jackets!
  • On the plane, the safest place for your child to sit is in their own seat, buckled into their age-appropriate car seat. Make sure to double check if your car seat is FAA approved. Though airlines allow children younger than 2 to sit on your lap, we recommend they have their own seat whenever possible. If your child rides in a booster seat in the car, remember to carry it on or check it for use at your destination.
  • Bring along enough toys, books, and activities to keep your child occupied. Extra snacks are a must! If possible, take walks around the cabin on longer flights.
  • Kids’ ears can be very sensitive to changes in cabin pressure. During takeoff and landing, it can help to have your baby nurse or take a bottle. For older kids, try drinking with a straw or chewing gum. Talk to your doctor if your child has had an ear infection within 1-2 weeks of travel.
  • Be sure to wash everyone’s hands frequently, and consider using sanitizing wipes to reduce spread of germs from armrests or tray tables.

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