Traveling definitely has the potential to be stressful, but adding kids into the mix can make everything even more complicated. A trip that seemed so easy flowing and enjoyable to someone in his teen years, might become a road full of trenches to someone who recently became a parent.
Keeping small children occupied is no easy feat. Parents might be tempted to give the child their keys, to keep them entertained through a flight. Be sure to have a spare somewhere, in order to avoid adding a replacement of car keys to the list of things that nobody expected to be in need of during the trip.
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Pack all the Essentials
Prior to the flight, make sure to have enough of the essentials packed in a bag, to carry on the plane. Diapers, medicine and food are just a few of the things that may be needed in a pinch, if a delay or cancellation occurs. If these items end up in checked luggage, there may be a problem if the luggage ends up lost or delayed for some reason. Planning ahead may be the key to having a near smooth traveling experience.
Carry a Child Restraint
The FAA recommends that children that weight under 40 pounds be placed in a child restraint system that is appropriate for their age and size. Children that are under 2 years old may be carried on an adult's lap, but should also have some sort of restraint system. It would be wise to find a child restraint system that may be carried easily through an airport and onto an airplane, as to help the process go smooth.
Prepare for Emergencies
Also, being prepared for emergencies is essential. There may be instructions in the preflight emergency briefing, which are specific to parents with small children. You may ask a flight attendant if any of the emergency equipment is specific for children, and let them know if your child has a medical condition that might become an issue during the flight. Be sure to put your own oxygen mask on first, in case that something goes wrong. This ensures that you can help any children after you have your oxygen under control.
Seat the Kids Properly
It is not always easy to control a child, but doing your best can ensure the comfort of the child and also that of other passengers. Seating a child on the aisle is not a wise decision, as they can reach out and grab other passengers or the drink cart. Seating small children between two responsible adults, or between a window and a responsible adult, is usually the best idea.
Keeping the child in a child restraint system for as long as possible can also help. If the child does want to get up and walk around, make sure the seat belt sign is off, before taking them out, as turbulence can happen any moment.
Bringing along safe toys is a great way to help children handle long flights. Just like the replacement of car keys that was mentioned in the beginning, it can spare the need to look for many other solutions and it can even save money. If these toys come with electronic devices, be sure that they are turned off when the pilot asks.
If the child is traveling alone, let the head flight attendant know about it and tell the child to report any problems to this person. Also, tell the child to have his or her identification within reach, all the time.
By following these tips, traveling with children will be a whole lot easier and safer!