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Is It Okay to Drug Kids for Airplane Rides?

Holiday travel entails a lot of lugging when you've got kids and suitcases. Add long lines and late flights to the list, and the last thing you need is your child having a mid-air meltdown. To prevent this, some parents give their lil darling a dose of medication like Benadryl or Dimetapp. What's your opinion?


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mommytoasdboy3 mommytoasdboy3 5 years
okay im okay with medicating the child IF there is something wrong with them that they cannot handle the flight. As a mother with a son with autisim who is flying this week to see grandparents i am medicating my child so he doesnt have a freak panic attack not for other people but for my child who has issues with tight cramped places and loud noise
Turbo18 Turbo18 8 years
Gosh some of these comments are so darn naive! Don't travel until your kid knows how to behave?? Please! I am an Army spouse living in Germany..that was not my choice but my husbands orders...when I have to fly ALONE (because my husband is fighting for YOUR freedom!) with my 3 children for 10 hour flights--you bet your dollar I may give them some benedryl--otherwise it is complete misery for everyone. Sure you can entertain a child with snacks, toys and movies for a few hours...its not gonna last the whole 10!! Don't be so judgemental you curse people for giving children Tylenol? We are talking OTC here and the CORRECT dosages! No one is talking about illegal drugs here... Just crazy...relax and take a deep breath everyone!
riahncurt riahncurt 8 years
I am a mother of two. One 2-year-old, & another 1-year-old. I just recently flew for 20 hrs! Not a non-stop flight, but a total. my kids were good without any meds. but I wouldn't mind giving them a little if it's supposed to relax them. I know how restless they get just sitting there & even with a bunch of snacks & toys, what kid would eat & keep themselves busy for 20 hrs!
NiniSoph NiniSoph 8 years
I always first try to find ways to amuse my kids with games, conversation, toys, puzzles and whatever else I can fit in their backpack. My kids are 5 and 3 and have started to pack their own "bags" for trips with some of their favorites (and some new ones I pack to surprise them). I recently found a great one-stop shop for kids travel products called Little Jet Set ( Along with luggage, activity books, games, etc., they have some great links for travel information.
princessangry princessangry 9 years
I flew trans-atlantic last week. The most badly behaved and annoying person on the flight was the grown woman in front of me... I've been reading this thread with interest, would it be considered "wrong" to give the child something to calm them down if they were terrfied of flying? Or if flying made them so nervous that they get upset? I don't have children, I should point out. I'm undecided about this topic.
artsyvixen artsyvixen 9 years
"this thread is beginning to feel like a trans-atlantic flight with a dozen kids throwing tantrums. i think i'll get the stewardess to bring me another one of those little bottles of wine..." Hmmm, isn't that pretty much "taking the edge off"? So you will take drugs (and yes alcohol is considered a drug) to calm yourself on a flight or an internet argument with strangers?!? Seems kind of double sided to me. Without taking sides on this argument I can say that I think that it is no less wrong than "drugging" your child to teach them that they are the most important person in the world and to always do what is best for them without consequence to others. Yes, we should always teach our children self worth and to make decisions for themselves without falling prey to the opinions of others when it goes against what they know is right. But we should also teach our children that they are not to be selfish and inconsiderate. The world is full of people like this and it accounts for many of society's problems today.
arienne arienne 9 years
Wow - I'm surprised how horrible some people think this is. Long plane flights make me grouchy so I often drug myself. Eight hour flight? I’ll take a Tylenol PM, sleep through it, and be rested and ready to go when I arrive. Is that absolutely horrible? I don't think so. I don't think it is any worse for your kids. As long as you clear it with a doctor, give them something safe and mild that will make the flight more bearable for them and a happier trip for the whole family (and, of course, I would never take something myself when I'm traveling with children - only when I'm the only I need to be responsible for). Plane flights are relatively rare - and particularly uncomfortable. If people were talking about something more common, like drugging your kids because you are going shopping or out to dinner so they are well behaved, that is very clearly a very different situation and without a doubt unacceptable (and abusive). But some Benadryl for a plane flight? I just don't think it is that big a deal.
Manduh Manduh 9 years
this is a very useful question for me because In march /08 I will be taking my daughter (who will be 3yrs come time for the trip)on a flight to Cancun Mexico.... It has been interesting to see everyones comments. Although still not sure what I am going to do
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
Everyone deserves respect!!! The kids AND the other people!!!!!!! Not just the kids!!!!!!!!!!
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
Thank you snowbunny11!!!!!! I completely agree with you!!!!!
allyd allyd 9 years
this thread is beginning to feel like a trans-atlantic flight with a dozen kids throwing tantrums. i think i'll get the stewardess to bring me another one of those little bottles of wine...
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
allyd, your view is just truly disturbing. Your children, while important to you are not any more important than the 100 other people on your flight, and how you could even think that really boggles my mind. Don't forget these other people are parents too, with valuable kids too and quite possibly they deserve some of your respect as well. As a former preschool and kindergarten teacher I can tell you that children will be more likely to misbehave when they are tired, sick or bored. Even if your children are perfect angels, many otherwise angelic children are prone to fussing on flights because it is not a good experience for them. If your kids have no problem flying, fine, obviously no parent should be forced to drug their kids! But your lack of respect for other people, and for the fact that some parents might need to give their kids a little help to calm down is really ridiculous.
chatnoir chatnoir 9 years
If you are using OTC medications for something other than it was intended and your child is NOT ill.. why is that any differrent than kids drinking cold medicine to get a buzz. I would never do that to my children. My children know how to behave.
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 9 years
Ugh. Personally I have absolutely NO patience for children on planes who scream and misbehave (not including little babies who can't help it). I would most definitely drug my children for long flights because I would remember what it's like to be trapped on a plane for eight hours with a screaming, fussy child. It's not because I would be "embarrassed" about their behaviour; it would be because I am considerate of the people around me. My dream world would just include airlines that run flights with no children under 10 on them.....although I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon.
allyd allyd 9 years
how am i not being clear here? snowbunny, i am completely, unabashedly unashamed of putting my kids' interests ahead or yours, mine, or anyone else in the world's. you can do that without spoiling a child, you know. my point, which i have reiterated ad nauseum, is that when determining how to best care for my children, my own values trump the opinions of the strangers around me every single time. ...but i think it's nice how you assume my kids are hitting people's seats or screaming at them. they've never done that, in dozens of flights. but even if they did, i wouldn't drug them. i'd correct them and teach them.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Omg, I read back through here...allyd, you really think your kids are so important to the extent that you don't care about anything else? Like my $500 plane flight and the fact that I could have had an important presentation in work the next day? I so hope that when I have kids I am not like that! "It's okay Junior if you want to hit her seat and scream at her, she's just another person, we don't have to care about other people at all!"
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Oh, and in supermarkets, honestly that is so incredibly different. I think grouchy people on planes really love kids other places! Even in restaurants (unless it is somewhere really fancy) kids' antics are fun to watch. A society of drugged up kids would not be good, but on planes, I guess I feel kind of passionately about this! lol
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