Sedating children on flights
Baby Center.com2, 33% of 3,657 parents who responded said they'd never sedate their children for a plane flight, and 24% said they've never needed to.But 18% said they have and would do so again, and an additional 20% said they've considered doing so."It's sort of the guilty secret of parents," says Erik Budde, San Carlos, Calif., owner of a family-travel site.Its maker, Pfizer, recommends parents consult their pediatrician before administering the medication to children under 6 or to any youngsters with breathing problems such as chronic bronchitis.While Benadryl is "very safe" when used as directed, it isn't intended to be used as a sedative and "we don't promote any off-label use," a spokeswoman says.Funny, I don't think of this as a secret *or* big news, but here ya go, from the venerable WSJ:----A Guilty Secret: Some Parents Sedate Kids To Keep Them Calm on Long Flights April 20, 2006; Page D1When Ginger Ogle suggested giving her 3-year-old son an antihistamine to help him sleep during an eight-hour flight to Europe, her husband "was appalled that I'd even consider drugging our child," she says.He bought a portable DVD player instead, to play in-flight movies for his son.Just seen a discussion on this morning about this... They also had prescribed medicine didn't use over the counter drugs. Not saying I agree with it if I was taking my child on a flight but I can understand why ppl do a 10hpur flight with a very active child could be quite a challenge.
To avert similar anguish for my two kids when they were babies, I occasionally used Benadryl to calm them on airplanes, with good results.
The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't have a position on the matter, and individual pediatricians vary in their views."If you asked 100 pediatricians, you'd get 20 strongly in favor, 60 who didn't think about it much, and 20 strongly opposed," says Richard Gorman, past chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics' National Committee on Drugs.
"Good doctors can disagree about this, just as thoughtful parents can disagree."Children's Benadryl Allergy liquid, with antihistamine as the single active ingredient, is widely regarded as safe for children; because drowsiness is often a side effect, it's a common choice among parents.
Avoiding long flights isn't always possible for today's far-flung families who want to stay connected.
Most parents who use sedatives do so only when other modes of calming children -- cuddling, rocking, bags of toys and games, books, conversation, walks down the aisle, DVDs or in-flight TV -- have failed.