Should we postpone our plane trip if our child has a cold?

Should we postpone our plane trip if our child has a cold?

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

It's probably not necessary to postpone your flight if your child has a cold. Children are usually just fine flying when congested, although they may experience some additional ear discomfort during takeoff and landing.

The one major exception is when the cold is complicated by a serious ear infection. In that case, you'll want to check with your child's doctor to make sure it's safe to fly. To avoid pain – or even a burst eardrum – you may need to postpone your travel plans for a day or two until your child's ear infection is better.

How does flying affect children with a cold?

Children are more susceptible to experiencing ear pressure or pain when flying, even when they don't have a cold. That's because the Eustachian tube (the passageway from the middle ear to the back of the throat) is narrower than in adults. This makes it harder for children's ears to adjust to air pressure changes when traveling by air, particularly during takeoff and landing.

When kids (or babies) have a cold, the middle ear passageway often gets clogged up with mucus. During a flight, air pressure can build up on one side of the ear and press against the eardrum, causing temporary pain.

Tips to prevent and ease ear pain when flying

When you do fly with a child who has a cold, you can do a couple of things to help make her more comfortable during the flight.

  • Saline drops. Give her saline nose drops just before takeoff. Tilt her head back and put a few drops in each nostril. Let the drops sit for a minute or so, then use the suction bulb (also called a suction syringe or nasal aspirator) to unclog her nose. Don't worry if a little saline goes down her throat – that's perfectly fine. You can use the drops every two hours until landing.
  • Breastfeed your baby, or use a pacifier. The motion of chewing and swallowing can keep the tubes in the inner ear open and adjust to the changes in pressure. If you have an infant, offer her something to suck on during takeoff and when the plane begins its descent: Breastfeeding your baby or giving her a bottle or pacifier can relieve the pain from changes in air pressure.
  • Give older children a beverage. An older child can try drinking something through a straw or a sippy cup. Don't offer the drink right after takeoff or your child might finish it before there's much change in pressure. Wait until you feel the pressure change in your ears, and then encourage her to drink. (Same thing with landing.)
  • Chew gum or suck on hard candy. If your child's at least 3 you can offer her chewing gum, hard candy or a lollipop to suck on (as long as you're careful about watching to make sure she doesn't choke).
  • Yawn. You can encourage an older child to yawn frequently to keep her ears clear.
  • Keep your child hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids will help your child stay hydrated and can ease congestion symptoms.
  • Stay awake during takeoff and landing. Your child's swallowing reflex is more active while she's awake, which makes it easier for air pressure in the ear to equalize.
  • Consider painkillers. Before you travel, ask your child's doctor whether it's okay to give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen before takeoffs or landings. (Decongestants are not recommended.)

Watch the video: If I have frequent colds, what does that say about my immunity? (October 2022).

Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos