I was watching an episode of The View when the topic of crying babies on a flight came up. One of the hosts said that she was given Benadryl as a child to put her to sleep while in flight, and another host confessed to giving her babies a sedative as well. The discussion left a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I've traveled with small children on a plane before, and I'll admit that it is a challenge. I used to be one of those people who would get annoyed by screaming kids before having my own. However after becoming a parent and going through those same challenges, I totally understand the frustration many moms and dads face.
But even though I've dealt with my kids having meltdowns, the idea of giving them a drug to keep them calm or knock them out for the duration of a flight bothers me. What if I give them too much? What medical side effects will they have as a result of consuming it?
According to Dr. Daniel Frattarelli, the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on drugs, the risk of sedating a baby can be life-threatening.
"When using Benadryl to sedate, you are using it for its side effects rather than its therapeutic effect. It can be dangerous—especially in children under 2. Kids have died from this," he says.
He adds that the over-the-counter drug tends to "concentrate in fluid around the brain in young children and can have unpredictable results in infants and toddlers."
I expected tons of backlash, but sadly there was nothing. ... Am I missing something here?
Moreover, It appears that medicating kids is becoming more socially acceptable. A national study of Australian motorists revealed that one in five New South Wales families are giving their children medication to keep them quiet on long road trips.
I also came across a few articles online featuring moms who openly admitted to giving their toddlers a drug to keep them calm. It begs the question, is drugging your baby to get some peace and quiet while traveling socially acceptable?
After watching the episode, I scoured Twitter and checked news sites and saw nothing. I expected tons of backlash, but sadly there was nothing posted on any social media sites. Am I missing something here?
When my husband and I were planning our family trip to Florida, I freaked out. We had a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us. But giving them a sedative was the furthest thing from our minds.
Instead, we put a plan in place. Each of our kids both have different personalities. The key to getting through a flight is knowing what will make them happy and comfortable.
Our son was still nursing at the time, so I knew that having him in a carrier and breastfeeding on demand would keep him calm.
At 3, our daughter enjoyed using the iPad. Before the trip, my husband downloaded some of her favorite Disney movies to keep her entertained. She also carried her suitcase onboard the plane, which was packed with some of her favorite toys and books to keep her busy.
There's no question that traveling with small children is tough. But rather than rely on a drug, focus on what makes them happy. The reality is that kids are unpredictable and they can throw a tantrum at any given moment.
I've been in public places where that has happened and I get it, it's embarrassing. As a parent, you feel helpless. But I couldn't imagine giving child a sedative to please myself or anyone else for that matter.
Would you give your child a sedative to stop them from crying? How do you keep your kids calm on a plane?