Preschooler Safety – Air Travel
- 6 Things to Know About Taking Children Through Airport Security: Avoid the time-consuming hassles and police interrogations and get through security smoothly.
- Tips on Soothing Your Traveling Child: How to make the flight easier for all of you.
- Tips on Being Stranded in an Airport: Avoid and prepare for this potential nightmare.
Preschool Safety – Air Travel Basics
- If your child has chronic heart, lung or respiratory problems, get the green light from your pediatrician before boarding. Same goes for those 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.
- For toddlers between 22 and 44 pounds, CARES Safety Restraint is the only child aviation restraint system certified by the FAA. Weighing a mere pound (as opposed to a 20-pound car seat), it’s easy to stick in a carry-on bag and adjust to any airplane seat.
- Make sure to check your car seat or booster seat if you plan to use a rental car on your trip or find a car service that offers them for an additional charge.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have your child suck on a pacifier, drink from a straw, or munch on some snacks to decrease ear pain during take-off and landing
- Count the number of rows to the nearest exit in case a smoke-filled cabin obstructs your view.
- 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.
- Children can get dehydrated faster than adults on airplanes, so make sure you have water, juice and/or milk on hand.
- Pack favorite toys, books and mess-free art projects (like crayons and coloring books) to keep them occupied. Also consider bringing a portable DVD player since the plane isn’t likely to air Hannah Montana.
- For especially long trips, try to book overnight flights so their sleep schedules aren’t too disrupted.
- Try and entertain them at your seat until most of the people have departed the plane. Standing on a long line is likely to trigger a tantrum.