flying with children guide

flying with children guide
Flying With Children
Before you fly
Can your child fly?
Will your child need its own seat?
On the plane
What you can take on the plane
Hand luggage essentials
Holiday essentials
Keeping your child entertained
Looking after your child
Dealing with nerves
Dealing with travel related illness
In case your child gets lost
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Before you fly
Can your child fly?
This depends on the age of your
child and the airline:
Some airlines allow children to fly from
two days old, others from two weeks your GP may have to provide a letter to
prove your baby is fit to fly
Does your travel
insurance policy
cover newborns
and infants?
Most airlines
require one adult
to accompany
each infant
If you are flying long haul, check that your baby can be
vaccinated; babies under two months cannot take anti
malaria tablets and children under 6 months cannot be
vaccinated against yellow fever. Further information on
vaccinations is available on the GOV.UK website.
Your child will need to have
its own passport to travel.
Passports usually take 3
weeks and cost £46.
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Will your child need its own seat?
Travel with baby on your lap
Babies up to 24 months
No additional seat cost
An extension belt will be provided
Book a seat with a bassinet/carrycot
Size restrictions apply dependent on airline
Reserve a child seat through your
 Needs to be booked in advance
 Often located next to the window to avoid
blocking other passengers
Use a restraint harness which fits to
a seat
 The use of Amsafe CARES child restraints
differs between airlines
* Babies must fit the airline’s bassinet restrictions
** Check with your airline for required
specifications of car seats, carrycots, harnesses
and bassinets
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Under 12 months*
6 months to 4 years**
12 months to 4 years**
On the plane
What can you take on the plane?
Each airline has different allowances, but as a
general guide:
Infants (up to 2 years) as lap
babies, or in bassinets.
 You can take one bag for the items that your
infant may require during the flight
You may also be able to take:
 One fully-collapsible pushchair
 One car seat
A small, fully-collapsible pushchair
can be wheeled to the aircraft door
and then stowed in the hold (check
with your airline)
Children (over 2) who
have their own seat
They have the same allowance for hand
luggage and checked luggage as you do.
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Hand luggage essentials
 Nappies, one for each hour you will
be travelling, plus extras for delays
Expressed milk or formula, boiled
water in a baby bottle or baby food
for the journey - this may be over
100ml (airport security could ask
you to open or taste this as a
security measure)
 A disposable changing mat,
wet wipes, and nappy sacks
 Blankets to help comfort your baby,
or if the plane is cold
 Spare clothes in case of spills
 A favourite toy for comfort if your
child is tired or nervous
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Holiday essentials
 Child pain relief
 Hand sanitiser
 Teething gel
 Thermometer
 Insect repellent
 Factor 50+ sunblock
 Rehydration powder
Bug off
 Soluble anti-sickness relief
 Bite and sting relief, calamine lotion
 A universal plug can turn a shower
tray into a bath for your baby
 Microwaveable sterilisation bags
or pre-sterilised bottles
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50+ sunblock
Keeping your child entertained
Remember that children aren’t focusing on the
journey and can easily get bored. Why not:
Teach them about the destination
 Get your child to become an expert on continents,
countries and cities with Lonely Planet’s Amazing
World Atlas app
 Teach your children how to say “hello”, “thank you”
and “goodbye” in the language of your destination
 Teach them about local foods - and encourage
them to try
Take photographs
 Children love taking pictures, so let them have their
own camera. Some of the best holiday photos come
from a child’s eye view!
Music and books
 Load your MP3 player with your child’s favourite
songs and consider audiobooks
 Don’t forget headphones - look for ones suitable
for children, with low volume specification to
protect their ears
Electronic apps
Tablets, apps and electronic games can be a great
distraction on a plane. Download TV show episodes,
films, and games and make sure apps can be
played offline
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Looking after your child
Dealing with nerves
 Before you leave for the airport, talk them through what will
happen a t the security line - including going through the scanner
 Talk them through how to find their seat on the plane, when to
wear a seatbelt and what will happen on take-off and landing
 Give them a book about airplanes so they can learn more about
the wonder of flying
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Dealing with travel related illness
Motion sickness
Ear pressure
A common complaint of children between
ages 3 and 12.
A variety of treatments suitable for
children include:
tablets, diluting salts and wristbands.
Ear pain on an airplane is caused by air
pressure on the Eustachian tube. It can be
worse if your child has a cold or infection.
Adults learn to ‘pop’ this pressure by
swallowing or yawning. However this is
not always possible for young children to
understand. To relieve the pain:
Flying can cause you to get dehydrated
and this can happen much quicker in
children and babies. This is because
planes have low humidity. Take plenty of
healthy drinks and bottled water.
 Avoid air travel if your child has a cold.
If not possible make sure they have
plenty to drink as dehydration can
make cold symptoms worse
 On take-off and landing feed your baby
or give your child a drink or hard boiled
sweets, the sucking motion helps
relieve pressure
 Teach an older child to hold their nose
and blow to manually open the ear
 Remember this can hurt so make sure
it is done gently
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In case your child gets lost
Airports can be confusing places for a child and
a lost child is every parent’s worst nightmare. To
reduce stress before your flight, consider:
Using a GPS tracker - this can be worn as a chip,
either on their hand luggage, as a bracelet or
in a watch. You can track the signal using your
mobile phone.
For older children arrange a meeting point and
provide them with the flight details so they will
be able to ask for directions.
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