Fear of Flying in Children

Fear of Flying in Children

While flying is seen as a relatively easy, and essential mode of travel in our world today, for kids, sometimes flying can be scary. In fact, a fear of flying is very common in children, especially children who have never flown before.

If you have a child with an active fear of flying, or are worried about their first flight, here are some tips that may help make your travel experience better for the whole family.

  • For a lot of children, their fear of flying stems from their parents. So the calmer you stay the better.
  • Don’t be so worried about babies and young children crying on the flights, it will probably be less of a disturbance than you think, and your anxiety over the situation will only translate to your baby.
  • If you have an older child, talk to them about how exciting and fun this new experience will be. The more excited children will be before their first flight, the better.
  • While parents should try to limit screen time in general, flying can be a great time to reward kids with screen time, so they can take their mind off the flight and stay distracted by what is in front of them.
  • If your child isn’t used to wearing a mask for long periods of time, make sure to practice mask wearing ahead of time, so it seems less stressful.
  • Make sure to pack new toys and games to keep kids entertained on the flight so they have something to look forward to that can potentially quell their fears.

Another thing to note, is that it isn’t recommended to drug children before flights. Some parents will try Benadryl or similar over-the-counter medications to get their child to sleep before their flight, but sometimes it can have the opposite effect. Sometimes, small children and babies will actually be more hyper with Benadryl.

The best you can do is try to schedule the flight for when your child naturally naps or goes to sleep and prepare with plenty of distractions and toys to help quell their fears and anxieties. And remember, many times, flying with a child for the first time won’t be as bad as parents think it will be.

Here at Continuum Pediatrics, we are dedicated to helping parents navigate all types of situations, including handling things like a fear of flying. If you have questions about what you can do as a parent to make flying easier on your children, contact us directly at 817-617-8600 to schedule an appointment today.