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1 year ago
6 tips to ease ear pain during air travel for kids

When you are travelling with kids you need to be prepared to withstand a tornado too, not in literal sense, but parents will get a feel of what I am saying. If you have an air travel planned you need to ensure that you have taken all precautions to have a smooth sailing trip. One thing as parents you should always gear up for is preventing ear pain during air travels. Both adults and kids suffer from this but with kids, we cannot expect them to manage it on their own. So if you don’t take the right precautions ear pains can make those obvious tantrums really worse. So, here are few ways in which you can counter ear pains:

Cover the eyes: Use a monkey cap, scarf or a cotton cap to cover your infant or toddler’s ears while travelling. Ear pain happens due to the unequal pressure felt in the ears while flying. When we are 1000s of feet above the sea level an unequal pressure is created between the outer and inner ear. There is a small space in the middle ear (a small space behind the eardrum) that is normally filled with air which keeps the pressure in the ears (inner and outer ear) maintained. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the nose. But when a plane ascends or descends the pressures changes in the ears. Air needs to travel up the Eustachian tube to equalise this pressure. But for some people, the Eustachian tube doesn’t open readily, more so for infants and toddlers. This is why one experiences pain. Keeping the ears covered is one way to ward off ear pains. Alternatively, you can use cotton balls too. Here are some tips for a hassle-free air travel with a kid.

Give a lollypop or candy to suckle: If your toddler (or even infant) refuses to wear a cap or scarf to keep the ears protected, then giving a lollypop or a hard candy is the next best option. Of course, kids won’t say no to anything sweet and a candy, never. But make sure it is something they can suckle on. So, a big chocolate bar is not going to help. The actions of swallowing and suckling help the Eustachian tube to open up and help air to travel in the ear and maintain equal ear pressure in the outer and inner ear. So, even if you are a calorie-conscious mommy here you have to give it to the candy to counter ear pain.

Breastfeeding or Bottle-feeding: For the same reason, even the aircraft staffs will ask you to feed your baby during take-off and descend. The action of swallowing can help keep the baby calm without having to experience any pain in the ears.

Simple exercises: Not sure, if every other kid would be able to do it, but doing some simple exercises in the aircraft can also help. One of them is to simply hold the nostrils shut, close the mouth and then open the nostrils and blow air through the nose. Alternatively, pinching the nostrils and swallowing at the same time can also help the Eustachian tube to fill with air. Here are few breastfeeding myths busted.

Use earplugs: There are specialised earplugs available in the markets which are designed to cover the ears and protect adults and young ones from ear pain during flights. Invest in one; they come in adult and child sizes too.

Clear nose blocks: If your child is suffering from a cold or a cough make sure you clean the nose way before boarding. A blocked nose way can make things worse and could be a reason behind the in-flight ear pains. So, give those nasal drops to your child before boarding the flight to clear the nose block and to help them breathe easy.

Image source: Shutterstock


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