How to Navigate Holiday Travel with little ones!

Board Certified Pediatrician
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How to Navigate Holiday Travel with little ones!

Which vaccines are a must before travel? How young is too young? What to do about sleeping arrangements in hotels? What equipment is a must and what can stay home? Join me and ask all your travel questions!

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  1. Tuesday, what date?

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    1. Today is the day! December 1st!

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  2. What are the rules regarding breast milk/formula on flights? I’ve heard baby gets whatever baby needs regardless of the liquid rules. And what about pumping and flying…can you still take milk on a plane if the child isn’t actually with you at the time?

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    1. Great questions! When traveling with infants and toddlers, formula, breast milk and juice are allowed through security in amounts greater than the typical 3oz limit. The key is to alert the TSA agent at the beginning of the process that you have one of the above liquids so they can appropriately screen them. This includes breast milk without a baby for moms who are pumping while away and want to bring milk home. I like to check out TSA.gov for the most up to date rules.
      https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures/traveling-children

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  3. I bring clorox wipes with me to wipe down the area (seat belt, arm rest, tray table). Does this actually help or just make me feel like I’m being proactive? Thank you!

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    1. Love it! Wipes are magic on a plane. I bring neutral smelling wipes for the trays, etc and child friendly wipes for little hands and faces. Planes are not the cleanest places, not to mention airports, so anything you can do to keep germs at bay is a great idea.

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  4. Also,I have just returned from a cross country flight where there was a very sick woman behind us who was coughing the whole time. Other than changing seats, is there anything that can be done to try to not ingest all of her germs? YUCK! Thank you!

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    1. Yuck is right. Remember the H1N1 epidemic of 2009? It was nuts! People wore masks when traveling because they were so afraid of that flu strain. While masks are not an option for most children, getting their flu shot is. Make sure your child is vaccinated at least four weeks prior to air travel during flu season (Oct-May). Children over age 6 months can be vaccinated and kids over age 2 can receive the nasal flu mist.

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  5. Here is a link to a fun article about some of my favorite toddler travel accessories!
    http://www.bundoo.com/qotd/childrens-travel-bag/
    If there is anything your little one could not travel without, I’d love to hear about it!

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    1. My son has to have his “Mama Bear” (a small teddy bear that used to be mine). So I’d say some type of comfort item would probably be key!

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  6. Shall we talk car seats? Car seats can be tricky but are a must for all children. Often well-meaning relatives will offer you an old car seat on the far end of your trip. Before you accept a used car seat, make sure it is in good condition, appropriate sized for your child and is not past its expiration date. Most seats are good for only five to seven years, so the seat your college-aged nephew used years ago is not appropriate for your toddler. For older preschoolers, booster seats are a must when car travel is involved. Car seats and booster can either be checked with checked baggage or can be carried to the boarding area where it can be tagged and given to a baggage carrier just as you are boarding the plane. When this option is chosen, you immediately retrieve the seat as you are deplaning. Make sure to label everything!

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    1. I’ve heard that you need to treat a car seat that has been checked on a plane as a “wrecked” car seat. Is that true? Have you seen how they handle baggage???

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      1. I’ve never read or heard that before but I’ve always found I felt better about carrying the seat with me until I was boarding the plane so that I knew for sure it was placed onto the plane. Car seats, like luggage, can get lost and that puts everyone in a very difficult situation.
        Of course, if your little one has their own plane seat, then the car seat can be used on the plane provided it is not too large. The Federal Aviation Administration has a great informative website:http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/ that can be used to determine if your seat will fit.

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  7. Parents often ask me “how young it too young to travel”? If it were up to me, all babies would be isolated until age 1, just kidding! Travel is sometimes necessary, even with young infants. If possible, I recommend waiting until your infant has had their first set of shots before air travel. The two month immunizations include pertussis, or whooping cough, a highly contagious disease. Regardless of age, you want to keep your child protected from germs as much as possible. That means getting immunizations on time, protecting yourself from the flu by getting your flu shot and washing hands often. I often advise parents to wear their babies to keep them shielded from stranger’s touch.

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  10. I’ve noticed the trend on social media where parents travelling with kids make little gift bags for people sitting nearby on planes, etc as a way of “apologizing” preemptively for their kids, and I have to say this rubs me the wrong way. Yes, kids might cry or be noisy sometimes but as a society we shouldn’t need a gift bag to help us “deal” with the kids nearby. What the parents need is a reward at the end of a long flight for everyone surviving in one piece!

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  11. I would also recommend bringing a birth certificate (copy) as proof of your child’s ID and age. We haven’t always done this but one particular airline we’ve flown recently has started to enforce this to prove a child is less than 2 yrs old and OK to be a lap child. And, I guess it is a good idea in case any emergencies arise! Just leave the original at home!

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