Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC - 41

Navigating Security with Infants
TIP 1: Give yourself
time.

"Life with infants and toddlers is
mostly that you have to prepare for
the unexpected-whether it's spit-up
or a blown-out diaper or just all those
little things that come up with young
children," Flais says. "You have to allow
more time than you think you're going
to need."
That includes time at the airport to
navigate security, but it also includes
travel time to the airport itself. Allowing
an extra 30 minutes or an hour to
account for traffic and security might
seem excessive, but it will go a long way
to preserving your peace of mind-and
to keeping your baby calm, too, Flais says.

TIP 2: Use your baby
gear to your advantage.

Most airlines allow children 2 and
younger to fly for free as a "lap baby."
That means they don't have a designated seat of their own, and that you
are potentially seated between two
strangers holding a squirming toddler.
If possible, the American Academy
of Pediatrics recommends paying for
another seat so children have a space of
their own to sit, in a car seat.
It's safer, too; if there's turbulence
or a rough landing, a car seat can protect your child. The Federal Aviation
Administration's website, faa.gov/
travelers/fly_children, has information
about children's safety seats that are
approved for flying.
Also, strollers can be checked at the
gate-and don't count toward your
bag limit for most airlines-so consider
bringing yours to the airport to make
getting around easier in the terminal
and at your destination.

Getting through airport security is tricky, even without a baby. Add in diapers, breast
milk and all the other essentials, and the rules and regulations can feel overwhelming.
Thankfully, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has slightly
relaxed rules regarding liquids for children-including breast milk, juice and formula.
This means that you can bring these fluids in reasonable quantities beyond
3.4 ounces-and they don't have to fit into one quart-sized plastic bag, either. Mothers
traveling without their children are given similar allowances for pumped breast milk.
If your child needs special medical equipment, inform the TSA agent at the security
line and see how he or she would like you to proceed. And if you are traveling with a
car seat, bring documentation showing that the seat is FAA-compliant-not all airline
staff or TSA staff may have the details about your particular seat model.

APPOINTMENTS

TIP 3: Prep, prep, prep.

Before You Go

Airports can be overwhelming for everyone, but especially for children experiencing them for the first time, Flais says.
Talk to your child about what they can
expect at airport security, when boarding the plane, during takeoff and landing
and in flight. Even children as young as 1
can understand basic explanations, she
says-things like "we'll show our tickets," and "we'll put our bags on a conveyor belt."
And prepare for as many possible
scenarios as you can. That means extra
diapers, extra clothes, extra snacks and
extra toys.

Talk with your pediatrician as soon
as you start planning the trip so he or
she can help you figure out what steps
to take.

TIP 4: Avoid germs and
check on vaccinations.

TIP 5: Protect against
popping ears.

"Wash your hands frequently, bring
tons of extra hand sanitizer and wipes-
especially for a toddler, who is going to
be getting into more things," Flais says.
"And bring extra medication if your
child needs it."
Depending on travel plans, some
vaccines can be given earlier than
recommended-six-week vaccines, for
example, can be given at a baby's 1-month
birthday with a doctor's permission.

In addition to completing
your pre-vacation to-do list,
make sure you talk with your
child's pediatrician about
travel health and safety. Start
by scheduling an appointment
with GMG's Mason Pediatrics at
678-312-5250.

Popping ears on takeoff and landing are
annoying for adults but can be terrifying and painful for infants and young
children. If your child is nursing or taking
a bottle, try to feed during takeoff and
landing-swallowing will help clear the
pressure, and feeding could also provide comfort.
If your child is no longer nursing, a
water bottle or snacks could help alleviate ear pain. ■

FAL L 2019

41


http://www.faa.gov/travelers/fly_children http://www.faa.gov/travelers/fly_children

Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC

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