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Health Tip: Prevent Ear Pain in Flight

- If you are taking a plane trip with your child, there are steps you can take to ease the child's pain and discomfort from air pressure changes.

The Nemours Foundation offers this advice:

  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids during the flight. Water is best, but make sure the drink doesn't have caffeine.
  • If the child usually has ear pain associated with plane travel, give the child a pediatric dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen about a half an hour before takeoff and landing.
  • If at least 3 years old, let your child suck on hard candy or chew gum.
  • Bring a bottle or pacifier along, or plan to breast-feed during the trip.
  • Encourage your child to yawn frequently.
  • Have the child use a nasal decongestant spray before takeoff and landing.
  • Don't allow napping during takeoff and landing, as it's more difficult to keep the middle ear equalized during sleep.
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Posted: September 2008