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Sedating children on flights

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It’s not unusual for parents to consider avoiding such potential problems by using medication to make their baby sleep.Medication is a tempting way to keep your baby quiet for a few hours during a trip, but I don’t recommend it.

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I try to counsel families about ways to make travel with babies a little easier without using medicine.Because the risks of serious adverse reactions often outweigh the benefits, over-the-counter medicines must be used with caution in babies and young children.I recently flew halfway across the world with an infant (a 20-hour travel day), and even though I'm a a pediatrician I briefly considered the idea that sedation might be a good thing.When your kid has an assigned seat, you can bring along her car seat and strap her in just like you would in a car. Second, it’s a heck of a lot more comfortable for both baby and parent.After they’re a few months old, many babies won’t sit placidly in your arms — they’ll try to squirm out and slide down, and continually restraining them just makes them scream.And some children get wired or hyperactive instead of sleepy when taking such drugs!

Even more important is that, with any medication, there can be dangerous side effects, such as a fast or irregular heartbeat, seizures, and changes in blood pressure.

The back of plane is also less affected by turbulence, helping your child sleep more soundly.

The golden recommendation I got from a flight attendant is to seat your kids wherever the plane’s engines are.

If you’re booking a multi-leg trip, however, be sure there is a comfortable layover between flights.

Hauling through the airport to get to a connecting flight on time isn’t easy when you’re flying solo; dragging a baby and toddler at top speed is an even harder task.

You can also check for more details about the seating arrangement of the plane.