Each of us more than once saw in the aircraft completely young passengers - one-year-old kids and babies. Flights, especially long ones, are not easy for crumbs, and it is better, of course, to avoid such loads until a certain age. But if life circumstances are such that air travel for a child cannot be avoided, parents should take a very responsible approach to the choice of route and carefully prepare for the flight.
The best flight for the baby - night
When preparing for the flight, it is very important to know the rules of travel with children and choose the right flight.
If you are flying with a small child, you should prefer night flights. In this case, the sleep mode will not be disturbed, and the baby will be able to rest during the flight. If the flight time is different from the time of night or daytime sleep, you can artificially move the sleep schedule (wake up early in the morning or not put to bed during the day).
As for the duration of the flight, both the doctors and the airlines themselves do not recommend flying with babies, especially at the age of up to a year, for long distances. Although on board many carriers for infants (up to one year old) and young children (from one to three years old) have cradles, baby food reserves, toys, and even changing tables are provided. However, for parents, if there is no urgent need for a flight, it is better to be patient and wait until the baby is older. If the flight takes 1.5-2 hours, then there is a chance that the child will just sleep for him: children under three years old spend a lot of time in a dream. The maximum flight time that a baby can theoretically withstand is 2.5-3.5 hours.
When purchasing tickets, warn employees of a travel agency or airline that you are traveling with a small child. Ask to reserve a place for it near the porthole. This will not only give him unforgettable impressions, but also allow you to control his movements so that the child does not go to inspect the salon alone. Ask if there is a special children's menu on the flight for which you are planning to fly and, if you have one, order several dishes from it.
Consultation with a pediatrician is required
Before the flight - long or not, it does not matter - you should consult with a pediatrician. And this must be done in advance - a couple of weeks, or at least a few days before the expected departure date. The doctor will give recommendations on what vaccinations should be given, going to a particular country, and will make a verdict, you can take the child on a trip based on his state of health, or not. Any acute illness accompanied by fever, weakness, refusal to eat, and capriciousness can be a contraindication for flight. In this state, the child needs complete rest, which is hardly possible in an airplane.
On the road, he will suffer even more, and he will exterminate everyone around. So if your baby has even a banal cold, it’s better to give up the idea of flying with him for a while.
If you take your child with you to tropical countries where infectious diseases such as malaria are common, you are risking your health badly and unnecessarily. Pediatricians constantly warn that malaria prophylaxis in young children can cause problems and is not always effective. Do not forget that in many resort countries, fast-moving medicine for tourists is developed poorly and the quality of services, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired.
Mikhail Zeigarnik, pediatrician, candidate of medical sciences:
- Up to a year it makes sense to fly with a child only on very strict occasions - for example, in connection with a change of residence. In other cases, this should not be done. It is contraindicated for children to fly with colds and otitis media: pressure drops during takeoff and landing can cause severe ear pain, and dry air in the cabin of the aircraft will irritate the airways and may increase coughing. Intestinal infections can cause problems with vomiting, and besides, it is problematic to change diapers on the plane. So in this case it is better to stay at home. You should not fly and exacerbation of chronic diseases (nervous, cardiac, pulmonary), except in cases where the child is being taken for treatment. Small children are not recommended to change the climate dramatically. The typical mistake of many child-loving Russian parents is to fly to Egypt in winter. A difference of 30 degrees (in both directions) in just a few hours is a serious stress for the baby, since at an early age the adaptation mechanisms of the body are not yet perfect. As a result, getting into the heat from the cold winter, children often catch cold, and rest turns into continuous problems.
If your child has a cold, put drops in his nose in order to better tolerate the change in pressure. It is advisable to do it for half an hour before departure and half an hour after landing.
During the flight, the child must be given a sufficient amount of liquid - fruit juices, non-carbonated water or tea. Carbonated drinks can cause flatulence, and also have a diuretic effect.
In order for the child to better adapt to the temperature conditions on board and at the airport, put enough clothes on him so that they can be removed or put on as needed.
The child’s legs may swell when flying at high altitude, so it’s better to take off your shoes on an airplane.
If you are traveling with a baby, give it a pacifier or a bottle of food before taking off and landing. This will help the baby to better transfer the pressure drop.
Going on a trip with a small child, take the following items to the salon: