Baby Safety – Air Travel
- 6 Things to Know About Taking Babies Through Airport Security: How to pack, what to ditch and what to expect.
- Tips on Soothing Your Traveling Infant: How to ease your baby to make your trips easier.
- Tips on Being Stranded in an Airport: Avoid and prepare for this potential nightmare.
Baby Safety – Air Travel Basics
- If your newborn or infant has chronic heart, lung or respiratory problems, get the green light from your pediatrician before boarding. Same goes for babies who have recently had an ear infection.
- The FAA allows children under 2 years old to be held on an adult’s lap, but it’s safer to purchase an extra seat (look into discounted infant fares) and install your car seat. Turbulence can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, and it’s better for your child to be securely strapped in.
- Make sure your car seat is FAA approved for air travel and no more than 16 inches wide. Even in the air, babies under 20 pounds should be rear-facing.
- Keep in mind that a car seat must be installed in a window seat for passenger mobility, so reserve adjoining seats.
- Ask a flight attendant for help securing the car seat.
- Read books or watch movies about airplanes with your kids (pre-screened so they don’t depict any crashes or extra-scary turbulence) to prepare and excite them.
- Count the number of rows to the nearest exit in case a smoke-filled cabin obstructs your view.
- To decrease ear pain during take-off and landing, have your infant nurse, drink from a bottle, or suck on a pacifier.
- If the oxygen masks need to drop, quickly put yours on immediately and then help your children. They won’t be helped if you pass out.
- Try and fly nonstop if possible, especially considering most plane accidents take place during take-off and landing. If you have no choice, consider using a snap-and-go travel system for an easier and lighter way to transport the baby, car seat and luggage, and/or arrange for airline assistance.
- Pack favorite toys and books to keep them occupied. Also consider bringing a portable DVD player since the plane isn’t likely to air Baby Einstein.
- Babies can get dehydrated faster than adults on airplanes, so make sure you have water, juice and/or milk on hand.
- For especially long trips, try to book overnight flights so their sleep schedules aren’t too disrupted.
- Be prepared for long delays, so pack blankets, plenty of diapers and wipes, extra food and formula, and two extra outfits. Dress them in layers to account for cold air conditioners or blasting heat.
- Try and avoid feeding them before you board, as nursing or bottle-feeding is a great distraction on the plane.