Easy Air Travel for Medically Complex Children

Easy Air Travel for Medically Complex Children

Flying with a medically complex child can be overwhelming for both you and your child. Here are some ways to make air travel easier for you both.

If you are traveling on a US-based flight, your child is permitted to sit in an FAA-approved car seat. Only some models of special needs car seats are approved by the FAA, so make sure the one you have has a label stating that it is certified to be used on an aircraft. All seats must be in a fully upright position during takeoff and landing. Most of the orthopedic seating devices not approved by the FAA can be used in the air. The only restriction is that your child cannot use the positioning device for landing and takeoff. Instead of going out and buying a new car seat before your flight, you may be able to rent or borrow one for your trip. Some facilities, such as Easter Seals, Shriners Hospitals, or UCP, may offer car seats on a loaner basis.

There are some options that make it possible for your child to sit in a more comfortable position. Travel neck and head pillows can give your child some additional support. Inflatable travel pillows offer a surprising amount of support but certain styles may be too large for smaller kids. The Hensinger head collar is designed specifically for children with disabilities and is allowed in most situations. If you are worried about your medically complex child sliding off the seat, there are nonslip seating pads to stop this from happening. You can also use inflatable lumbar cushions and supports. In most circumstances, you can recline your child with a small wedge cushion flipped backwards. It is important to note that anything with a gel filling will likely not be approved to bring on the plane.

Try to select seats located at the front of the plane as this will make getting on and off easier. If your child is sensitive to loud sounds, make sure to bring noise-canceling headphones for the plane ride. You can use the headphones to drown out all the noise or plug them into a MP3 player to play their favorite music. For medically complex children who become stressed or anxious in unfamiliar territory, it can be beneficial to bring some of their most beloved items. Pillows, toys, and blankets can help them avoid fits or stress. It is best to bring things that will calm and distract rather than something that can excite and get them worked up.

If you are looking for more information on how to accommodate your medically complex child, or for medical equipment to help you do so, contact RSVP Home Care today. We are dedicated to providing our pediatric clients the highest quality equipment and services. Our goal is to improve the lives of all of our clients. Our staff has the combined healthcare experience of over one hundred years, so you can trust that your child is in capable hands. We are located in Covington, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati.