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Thread: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

  1. #1
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    Default Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    I've researched a little about this elsewhere, but I'm curious to hear if anyone has had any experiences they would want to share on the topic of keeping sane with a 14 month old, flying from the mainland west coast to Hawai'i (and vice-versa). Chances are pretty good we'll use Hawaiian Airlines, as their prices seem comparable to other airlines and my experiences with them have been sooo much nicer.

    Does the "lap baby" thing really work? That seems somewhat more dangerous in addition to being harder to work out for keeping them sane for 5 hours.

    The car seat approach seems safer, but it's a gamble on if you can use it, unless you pay a full adult fare. It kinda hurts to pay for a full adult ticket for him, though I understand why.

    Eeenyway Any advice (or stories) anyone has on the subject would be much appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by honulani View Post
    Any advice (or stories) anyone has on the subject would be much appreciated!
    Our child was about the same age as your's when we took a mainland flight. We paid for a passenger seat for the child, and used a car seat onboard. About an hour out the plane had engine trouble and had to turn back, and while still in the air the pilot discharged all the extra fuel (so we would not be landing with so much dangerous fuel on board). Watching the fuel spray, and then coming in for a landing knowing we had engine trouble, well, I can tell you that during that time I knew that some of the best money I'd ever spent was for ticketing my child so that they had a passenger seat (and thus car seat). I'd not want to have been trying to "hang on" to my child if the plane had a rough or problematic landing. I fly a lot. I am not afraid to fly. But that was a frightening experience, and I was glad I'd not cheapened out by trying to save money at the expense of my child's safety.

    Look at it this way, at what point are you willing to put safety first? From the beginning of your child's life, or just wait until the airline tells you to do so as the child ages? Of course the answer is from day one. So, buy the child a seat, and enjoy a wonderful trip!
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Buy the extra fare and use a car seat. For your own sanity, you'll be glad you did.

    The airlines can be pretty brutal on checking "extras" at the gate, and having a boarding pass for your kid may let you bring an extra toys/supplies bag into the cabin. For example if the car seat is part of a stroller then they'll probably want to take the stroller away at the end of the ramp and put it into checked luggage. But if you have a boarding pass for your keiki then you'll be able to bring their toys/supplies bag without having to give up your grownups carryon.

    If you buy them their own seat then you may be able to special-order a kid's meal.

    You know how many diapers you'll need for a five-hour flight. Once you determine that number... double it. I don't want to get into how we learned it, but something about altitude or cabin humidity makes their little kidneys work overtime.
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Starve them and play with them HARD for the 3-5 hours leading up to the flight.

    Feed them their favorite meal, and let them eat until they are crushingly full.

    Some nighttime Robitussin, a good potty stop, and I'll see you in 5 hours.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by timkona View Post
    Some nighttime Robitussin, a good potty stop, and I'll see you in 5 hours.
    For the keiki, or for yourself?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    My friends had kids (3) all 2 years apart. They said people would cringe as they boarded and took up the whole middle row. People were amazed at how quiet they were and that they slept almost the entire way to NY.....She swore by Benadryl dosing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    My girls' pediatrician also suggested Benadryl. And that was 40 years ago! He also recommended sucking on a bottle during descent, to help the ear pressure. So I brought my own 1.5 liter bottle of Chardonnay to alleviate any ear pain I might have!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Nintendo DS, a spare battery and a portable DVD player along with snacks and candy.

    As for the kid, I have no idea

    But seriously, any decongestant would be wise only because when the plane begins it's descent, the ears begin to pop and that's when you start hearing the crying babies and toddlers. They don't understand the pain in their ears. Keeping the eustacian tubes clear and open will keep their ears from getting all plugged up and painful.
    Last edited by craigwatanabe; March 21st, 2010 at 09:32 PM.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    But seriously, any decongestant would be wise only because when the plane begins it's descent, the ears begin to pop and that's when you start hearing the crying babies and toddlers. They don't understand the pain in their ears. Keeping the eustacian tubes clear and open will keep their ears from getting all plugged up and painful.
    Benadryl is (or at least used to be) recommended because it is an antihistamine, which has the side affect of sleepiness. I'd not be mixing in a decongestant. Also, things have changed in the world of antihistamines, and some are now "non-sedating". You'd need to check with the pharmacist to make sure you were selecting a "sleep inducing" version, if you plan on using it to make the kids sleepy.

    Having the baby drink something during take off and landing helps with the ears. The secret to that is to make sure they are thirsty at the right moment. You have to hold back fluids a bit at stragetic times because if they won't take a bottle at the right time, you are out of luck. whaaaa whaaaaa.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Benadryl is (or at least used to be) recommended because it is an antihistamine, which has the side affect of sleepiness. I'd not be mixing in a decongestant. Also, things have changed in the world of antihistamines, and some are now "non-sedating". You'd need to check with the pharmacist to make sure you were selecting a "sleep inducing" version, if you plan on using it to make the kids sleepy.

    Having the baby drink something during take off and landing helps with the ears. The secret to that is to make sure they are thirsty at the right moment. You have to hold back fluids a bit at stragetic times because if they won't take a bottle at the right time, you are out of luck. whaaaa whaaaaa.
    Nobody should ever recommend an antihistamine for other than intended purposes. I know it's used a lot however no doctor will ever go on record as doing such.

    The idea is to open up nasal passages and the estacion tubes to equalize inner ear pressures and the sinuses. Blockage of these two tubes can result in lots of ear pressure build up upon descent. Decongestants will alleviate this pressure build up by keeping these tubes open and clear.

    As for lulling the baby to sleep, warm milk works the best (if you can get some on board). Child abuse charges for intentional use of Benadryl or Dimatapp to make an infant drowsy during flight can be upheld in a family court. You may as well give them beer.

    I don't want to be a spoil sport because we all probably do it, however you don't want to get caught doing it. If you do your homework right you tell the nosy onlooker that your baby has a cold. If you tell them it's to make your baby relaxed, oh boy you'll have the cops on your hands with CPS making the call to remove your child from your custody.

    That's the reality check.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Nobody should ever recommend an antihistamine for other than intended purposes. I know it's used a lot however no doctor will ever go on record as doing such.[...]
    See post #7.

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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    We've paid for seats many times only to have our kids have total fits and ended up having to carry them most of the way nonetheless. It does hurt paying full price but they'll be two soon enough and will be paying anyways, so....

    Never tried the Benadryl; although we know it's perfectly safe when used in the proper dose I just have trouble dispensing medication when it's not medically necessary. We use the drinking/eating on takeoff/landings and it's worked well. (Knock wood.)

    For the mainland-bound flight you might try the redeye. That was my great idea a few years ago and worked great, until my 18 mo.-old daughter kicked over a glass of orange juice in her sleep onto both of us, and wouldn't stop crying until I picked her up and walked her. This is at 3am, of course, and she refused to let me sit back down so I had to keep carrying her for the sake of the rest of the passengers. There I am, leaned up against a wall, both of us drenched in OJ (and of course I didn't pack spare clothes in my carry on), when I feel yet more moisture suddenly down my shorts, only warm this time! Yes, her diaper failed. And waking her to change it would only lead to more screaming. Oh, did I mention we were flying home alone while my wife stayed back a few more days? Yeah, that was a fun three hours or so, wet, sticky, soiled, sleep-deprived and hoisting a fussy toddler. I still remember the pitiful looks I got from the flight attendants.

    Ah, good times...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    See post #7.
    That pediatrician can get into a boatload of trouble if his/her name is mentioned. Not a good thing to recommend as a doctor.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    That pediatrician can get into a boatload of trouble if his/her name is mentioned. Not a good thing to recommend as a doctor.
    Drugs are rx'd or suggested for off-label use all the time. Is the issue, for you, that we're discussing it as it relates to children? The pediatrician I referenced is not the only pediatrician who has recommended Benadryl for kids during a flight. I've personally heard others suggest it. Regardless, the OP should definitely contact her doctor rather than relying on the advice found on an internet forum!

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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    CPS in Hawaii is total farce. I know from personal experience and a nasty divorce.
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Regardless, the OP should definitely contact her doctor rather than relying on the advice found on an internet forum!
    true dat
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoCal Boy View Post
    There I am, leaned up against a wall, both of us drenched in OJ (and of course I didn't pack spare clothes in my carry on), ...
    OK, now we all are informed that NoCal is really Tim Chapman .... with another split OJ excuse.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Nobody should ever recommend an antihistamine for other than intended purposes. I know it's used a lot however no doctor will ever go on record as doing such.
    We don't have any baby-aged kids anymore, so I don't know if doctors still recommend it, but while mine were young I had a doctor give advice that using antihistamines as one choice of contending with flights. And he did it "on the record". We were lucky, though, in that our babies always traveled well, without fussing, so playing peek-a-boo for 5 hours was our method.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Bring Cheerios in a plastic baggie. Also bring a few of the tactile books- kids that age can play with those for long periods of time. If you choose to get a seat for the little one, you don't have to put the car seat there- I know lots of people with children about your child's age (maybe a little younger) who strap their kiddos securely in the middle seat between Mom and Dad. Put down on a blanket for them to sit on, put up the arm rest, and you've got a little play area for them.

    (Don't get all pearl-clutching with me about not using the car seat please. It was cleared by several airlines as being safe to do and I'm just passing it on.)

    Can't think of anything creative this time


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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    We don't have any baby-aged kids anymore, so I don't know if doctors still recommend it, but while mine were young I had a doctor give advice that using antihistamines as one choice of contending with flights. And he did it "on the record". We were lucky, though, in that our babies always traveled well, without fussing, so playing peek-a-boo for 5 hours was our method.
    Your doctor was very fortunate that he wasn't caught.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Your doctor was very fortunate that he wasn't caught.
    Craig, I'm really trying to understand this. Can you please cite (article, web site) your claim that a doc (in this case a pediatrician) could be in serious trouble for recommending an age appropriate dose of Benadryl to help a fussy child sleep on a flight. Please know I'm not saying you're wrong. Rather, I've never heard that a doc could be putting his/her career on the line for suggesting otc Benadryl for this off label purpose. My own doc recommended it to me for sleep.

    Then there's Tylenol PM and others like it. It's an otc pain medication that includes generic Benadryl (Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg) for sleep. Simply Sleep, another product made by Tylenol, is nothing but Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg. These are examples of off-label uses that have become medically acceptable uses for this med. I'm not saying, at all, that these products that include Diphenhydramine should be given to children, esp. without consulting a doctor. I'm just pointing out that Diphenhydramine for sleep is acceptable, medically, and is included in products specifically for that purpose. Again, I'm having a hard time understanding how a doctor would be putting his career on the line for recommending an age appropriate dose of Benadryl for children to be used on a flight. And, at the risk of redundancy, a parent should always consult a doctor first.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    I have always understood that off-label use of a product can be dangerous to the recipient. If there are problems such as allergic reactions or long term immunity of the product from use after the product was administered or advised upon to intake, that person who made the decision to use such product in an adverse way could be held liable in a court of law.

    Unless the label allows for such use of the product, liability can only be directed at the one individual that allowed it to happen.

    For example the use of a screwdriver as a prybar is as common as using an antihistimine for a sleep aid. However in the product warning label it clearly states misuse of this product clears the manufacturer or retailer of liability claims. But if Stanley Tools suggested that their screwdrivers can be used as prybars and it injures the user because clearly it wasn't made for that purpose, Stanley will be held liable.

    In the case of antihistimines, if there is no claim that this product can be used as a sleep aid and it is then used for such purposes, the one prescribing it's use can then be held liable for misuse of a product if injury or death occurs.

    Doctors who advise the use of antihistimines run the risk that nothing will happen to the child. But if something did indeed happen, that doctor can be held liable for malpractice because nowhere in the product literature or warning label did it allow for that particular product to be used in that way and clearly it warns that misuse of that product can result in injury or death.

    With warnings like that who in their right minds would continue to advise to use any product other than intended?

    And I believe this kind of action is a felony.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    In the case of Diphenhydramine HCl (Benadryl is just a brand name), it's use to help with sleep is well known and marketed for such use per my post above. The FDA has not pulled the sleep products off the market. Why would you consider the recommendation of Benadryl, by a doctor, for sleep a felony when the FDA doesn't? ALL medicines, both rx and otc, run the risk of side effects and allergic reactions. My doctor told me to use an otc antihistamine that used to be by rx only. I had a reaction to it. Again, it would help if you would cite a reference that a doc recommending an age appropriate dose of Benadryl for sleep is seriously compromising his/her career by setting himself up for lawsuits or a felony.

    Comparing the use of a tool to a med is a bit far-fetched, imnsho! Maybe save the felony label for something as serious as giving propofol for insomnia. Benadryl doesn't qualify.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    In the case of Diphenhydramine HCl (Benadryl is just a brand name), it's use to help with sleep is well known and marketed for such use per my post above. The FDA has not pulled the sleep products off the market. Why would you consider the recommendation of Benadryl, by a doctor, for sleep a felony when the FDA doesn't? ALL medicines, both rx and otc, run the risk of side effects and allergic reactions. My doctor told me to use an otc antihistamine that used to be by rx only. I had a reaction to it. Again, it would help if you would cite a reference that a doc recommending an age appropriate dose of Benadryl for sleep is seriously compromising his/her career by setting himself up for lawsuits or a felony.

    Comparing the use of a tool to a med is a bit far-fetched, imnsho! Maybe save the felony label for something as serious as giving propofol for insomnia. Benadryl doesn't qualify.
    Okay you're right.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    If you are interested, here are two perspectives on off label useage, one medical and one legal.

    http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hnf/hnf_6373.htm
    From Health NewsFeed, a service of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
    So called off label use of prescription medications has been much in the news lately. Thatís where physicians can prescribe medications approved for one disease or condition for another disease or condition entirely. Often this happens when doctors notice additional benefits from drugs prescribed for one purpose but turn out to be helpful for others. David Goodman, a physician at Johns Hopkins, comments. GOODMAN: Thereís a tremendous off label use of prescription medication. Now just because itís off label doesnít mean itís medically irresponsible. There are a lot of products with a history of clinical research that show efficacy but the company never went after a product indication because it wasnít business-wise to do so, that is, the product was generic or was going to be generic, it doesnít mean the product doesnít work, so writing off label in and of itself isnít medical malpractice. Goodman says you should clearly understand why a doctor is giving you any medication.
    http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...criptions.html
    Legal Match Law Library
    Doctors prescribe drugs for off-label use for several reasons: New uses are sometimes discovered after the FDA approval process, and the manufacturer does not want to go through the process again. Uses for children and pregnant women are rarely approved, so many of the treatments for these groups are off-label. Diseases such as cancer and AIDS use off-label drugs to take advantage of new uses without having to wait for the long approval process. Is Prescribing Medication for Off-Label Use Malpractice? Prescribing off-label medication is not itself medical malpractice unless doing so falls below the accepted standard of care. Off-label use is actually quite common, but there must be a medical basis for the use. Off-label prescribing can be evidence of malpractice in certain situations, such as the existence of approved, safer drugs or the lack of sufficient medical evidence for the use. Does the Manufacturer have any Liability? In most cases, the responsibility falls to the prescribing doctor to make sure that the off-label use is medically reasonable. Drug manufacturers are not required to seek approval for all possible uses of their drugs, however they cannot promote uses that are unapproved. They are also required to report known dangers and side effects, even from unapproved use.
    But like TutuSue said, giving propofol for insomnia probably is not medically reasonable.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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