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Thread: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    This is true. For example, Topamax is prescribed for epilepsy, but it was discovered the medication works wonders for migraine prevention, which is what I take it for. I am very thankful for whichever doctor took the chance of prescribing it for the migraines, otherwise I'd still be in bad shape. They've also discovered Topamax is helping with alcohol addiction- making it harder to absorb the alcohol, thus keeping the drinker from becoming drunk- and it's safer than Anti-Abuse.

    This thread has wandered WAY off topic. I'm sorry! Anybody got anything else for entertaining kids on planes?

    Can't think of anything creative this time


  2. #27
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    Thumbs up Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Nintendo DS, a spare battery and a portable DVD player along with snacks and candy.

    As for the kid, I have no idea :D
    LOL. Yes. :)

    Mahalo for everyone's answers! I want to answer a few things but I don't want to post 20 replies :D So here goes:

    - Off-label use: a lot of docs now officially prescribe things like Lamictal/lamotrigene (an anti-convulsant) for bi-polar. It works really well actually. It's also true that many sleep aids have the exact active ingredients of Benedryl. I've heard doctor friends say basically this: every drug tends to have at least 2 or 3 effects, sometimes totally unrelated things. The trick is to find the drug that has the least negative side effects and the most positive effects. Sometimes it varies per person and you end up having to try several. Hey, we're biological :) It happens!

    That said, I don't like the idea of using drugs unless they're needed. So we may bring it in case he has some kind of major mood blow-out, but I don't plan on using it. There are less severe things (like Rescue Remedy) that are good too.

    - Plane safety: I work in a flight safety related field so I'm pretty pleased with the safety of the airlines actually. I know what goes into their work and I help with it in a tangential sort of way. Typically if a plane has serious problems, the passengers aren't going to survive. I think they tell you a lot of that "in case of emergency" stuff to make you feel better, like it's a car crash or something. But serious problems on planes are not common. For non-serious problems like heavy turbulence, wind shear, hard landing, and so on, most people probably don't even need seat belts. For example the FAA would rather (IMO sort of ridiculously) have a lap child in an extender seat belt that lets them squirm all over than in an unapproved wrap like a Moby.

    The exception being things like the hard landings that crush the wheels, but there wasn't enough energy to cause the plane to explode, the landing in the Hudson River, and that sort of thing. A seat belt would save you from having to hold on there.

    EDIT: I should also say that I'm the sort of person that actually enjoys turbulence like a roller coaster ride, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask .. hehe.

    Parents probably ought to do what makes them most comfortable of course :)

    I think for me the separate seat or not is more of a sanity issue. Do you want to have to carry a child for a whole multi-hour flight? Does the child do better in their car seat as a familiar symbol of having to sit still for a while? I think the answers to these are probably no and yes for us, but various people finally convinced us to try it without. -_-; We'll see how it goes! Best case scenario, there's an open seat and we can just use the car seat anyway.

    We're doing "lap practice" now with him to try to get him used to sitting on our laps for longer. We've got a bunch of new dollar store toys he'll get, one per hour or two. One of us is going to take a big (barely counting as a carry-on) backpack with our grown-up stuff and the other will take the diaper bag with his stuff. So I think this is all coming together.
    Last edited by honulani; March 24th, 2010 at 07:06 AM.

  3. #28

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

    Quote Originally Posted by honulani View Post
    One of us is going to take a big (barely counting as a carry-on) backpack with our grown-up stuff and the other will take the diaper bag with his stuff. So I think this is all coming together.
    Take extra baby stuff. After our emergency landing, we got stuck at the airport for hours. I had brought along enough supplies for the flight, and a few spares, but not enough for the approx 12 hours that it finally took. And, we could not find any baby supplies for sale in the airport (but maybe they have improved that now).
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by honulani View Post
    [...]
    That said, I don't like the idea of using drugs unless they're needed. So we may bring it in case he has some kind of major mood blow-out, but I don't plan on using it.[...]
    Bingo!!! That's exactly what I did (40 years ago!) and didn't need to use it. I did a trial of Benadryl on both kids a week before the flight just in case one or both had a reaction. My kids first flight was short...LA>Tucson. It was a great trial run for the all day (including layover) LA>Hilo>Maui flight later that year. Both girls were fascinated by flying, the plane and all the people surrounding them! They turned out to be great little travelers who became great big travelers! Both still have the traveling bug.

  5. #30
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Good point about the delays and layovers. Thanks

  6. #31
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    I still like Chicklets
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    I still like Chicklets
    Every time I hear "chicklets" I think of the a great scene in the Grateful Dead
    movie..........

  8. #33

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

    Regarding all the discussion of medications and off-label use and such...

    Pediatricians have been recommending the use of benadryl (diphenhydramine) as a pediatric sleep aid for more than three decades. There has been a trend against recommending this to parents in recent years due to some associated risks with the medication combined with the fact that parents *routinely* overdose their kids when using liquid preparations. The off-label thing applies mostly to the way that drug companies can market a drug...i.e. if the drug company gets approval for a drug for one indication they can't advertise it treats something else. Physicians on the other hand have a lot more leeway in prescribing medications as a few people have pointed out.

    This might surprise some, but there are fairly few medications that are FDA approved in children. Much of what pediatricians prescribe is "off-label". E.g. in the area where I work, more than 80% of what I prescribe is off-label.

    For pediatricians, the relevant legal issue is one of standard of care. This idea basically states that if it's generally accepted practice then it's ok to do (it's a bit more complicated but that's the gist of it). Sedating kids with benadryl is definitely within standard of care--in pediatric hospitals kids often get a dose of benadryl to help them sleep.

    All that said there are some real risks to medicating your child. First the American Association of Pediatrics has come out as being opposed to the use of antihistamines, cough suppressants and other "cold medications" in children (especially those under 2) due to the risks of serious injury or death. Many of these are due to overdose or unsafe combinations of medications but some are caused by abnormally severe reactions in children who receive a normal dose--enough to warrant a blanket recommendation against using them.

    The other risk to using benadryl is the possibility of a dysphoric reaction. This is where the kid doesn't get sleepy but instead becomes agitated, irritable and sometimes hallucinates. This is a well known side effect of some antihistamines (particularly benadryl) and can be quite problematic on a confined flight.

    For my own kids I bring lots of distracting toys (particularly things that they haven't used lately) as well as books. As others have recommended, buying a seat for your keiki is a really good idea...car seats are easier to sleep in and they serve as a socially acceptable form of restraint .

    Hope this helps!

  9. #34

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

    Quote Originally Posted by naunca View Post
    . As others have recommended, buying a seat for your keiki is a really good idea...car seats are easier to sleep in and they serve as a socially acceptable form of restraint .
    Hey, that is a great observation. I had not ever thought of it that way, but you are darn right!
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  10. #35

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

    We have flown a lot with our keiki (ages 3 and 4) since they were the tiniest babies, on flights up to 6 hours. Mine are pretty squirmy, and I just can't imagine what it would have been like to try to hold them on my lap for any length of time once they were big enough to crawl. Before that they did end up spending most of the flight on my lap either nursing or just cuddling, except during takeoff and landing...I was just never comfortable not having them strapped in during those parts. Do I really think I could hold on to my kid during rough turbulence? Maybe....but really I wouldn't want to take the chance, babies don't bounce so well.

    Most of my advice has been covered - double the changing supplies you think you'll need (IMO you have not lived until you have changed a toddler-grade blowout at 30,000 feet in a bathroom the size of a kitchen cabinet during turbulence) plus extra clothes; lots of food and toys (preferably new toys or ones they haven't seen in a while) and a willingness to be actively engaged with tending their every want and need for the next six hours, because you really owe that to the people around you.

    For my part, I only resorted to benadryl once, when my son clearly wanted to sleep on a red-eye (back from Oahu, I think) but just couldn't get comfortable enough to drift away. Unfortunately I have to take Dramamine when I fly, so I always end up sleepier than the kids

    Anyway, good luck, have a great time and have no fear! Experiences like this starting at an early age help foster the development of good little travelers/citizens.

  11. #36
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Thanks for all the discussion, everyone! Both sets of flights went pretty much trouble-free. I was pretty amazed. On the flight out we had to hold him on our laps for the ~6 hour trip to Honolulu, and the ~45 min trip to Kaua'i, and he rarely complained. I was surprised because he is pretty squirmy here, but on the plane he didn't seem to care. He had a friend for part of the flight too, because someone farther up the plane handed off their infant to the person next to us once in a while. The biggest problem we had was that he didn't want to sleep. He eventually fell asleep once sitting on the tray table, leaning on me.

    On the way back we had to hold him in our laps for the Kaua'i -> Honolulu trip, and I was dreading the worst because of his behavior during the trip itself. But we were able to secure him a seat on the ~5 hour flight back. He actually enjoyed sitting in his car seat most of the time, and spent a good hour napping.

    Now during the trip itself ... ... whole 'nother thing. We had been clearing our house out for a move back in Oregon so he was already a little disrupted. 3 hours of jet lag, a new environment, new routines, new food, ... it didn't sit well with him. Never again .. OMG. Hours of crying at night because he was sooo tired but couldn't/wouldn't sleep (and we had to sit with him in the car to avoid ruining everyone else's trip), instant unrest and unhappiness any time we stopped carrying or strollering for a minute or two, his normal food pickiness x2 or x3, on and on..

    When we got back home .. total model citizen. (As I visualize "Bubbles" pointing a finger at him.) Go figure.

    On the plus side, I was able to introduce him =) and he seems to like mahi mahi and shave ice

  12. #37

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

    OMG I have spent countless nights in the car with a crying kid for the same reason. Not fun!

  13. #38
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    I'm sorry about having to deal with all the crying on the trip, but yay for the plane rides...and the shave ice! I recently bought a collector's Snoopy Sno-Cone maker just like the one I had as a kid. It uses ice-cubes and takes quite a bit of effort to get the tiniest bit of result, but the memories make it all worth it.

    Can't think of anything creative this time


  14. #39
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Yay! I had one of those too. I was a Snoopy fanatic.

  15. #40

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

    earplugs for the surrounding passengers ?

  16. #41
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    Default Re: Advice for keiki on the 5 hour flight?

    Tikiyaki :P

    One of the things I like about flying Hawaiian is that they are family friendly. Every flight I've been on, there have been 2-3 children. People are usually pretty good about keeping them quiet. Sometimes you just can't.

    On the way back here, on the 5 hour flight, one of the kids just randomly starts screaming her head off. I mean, real death of the world type stuff that I'm not sure I've ever heard out of a child before. I think it was after the descent started, so maybe she had really sensitive ears or something. Anyway, a bunch of other kids on the flight were asleep, and when she started screaming, she woke up another one, who started screaming. The screaming of those two woke up our son and another kid in the plane, who promptly started crying. It was like car alarms setting each other off. Honestly it was sort of amusing .. people were kinda laughing about it.

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