Traveling with kids this summer? Here’s how to prepare for kid-friendly flight

HOUSTON – The summer travel season is officially underway.

If you’re traveling with young children, boarding a flight can seem daunting when you consider they’ll need to sit still for hours in the cabin. Kelsey-Seybold pediatrician, Dr. Suma Manjunath, said there are several things you can do to make the trip more kid-friendly.

“Try to schedule travel earlier in the day. They do better during the day and we’re not interrupting their sleep schedules. And make sure that the parents have longer layovers if they have to go through various airports so the kids can run around and get their energy out,” Manjunath said.

Other tips?

  • If you’re traveling with strollers, car seats and other baby gear make sure to check in early. Getting all that through security and situated will take time.
  • If two adults are traveling, let one pre-board to secure space for belongings. The other can hang back with the kids to give extra time at the gate.
  • Don’t forget the all-important snacks! They are lifesavers, especially during takeoff and landing when ears tend to pop.
  • Remember to pack books, games and other toys that will occupy their time. If they’re bringing a screen with them, you can ease up somewhat on time limitations if it helps the child stay calm and content.

If you do end up with a temper tantrum mid-flight and you’ve exhausted every trick you thought would calm them down, Manjunath says it happens to the best of us.

“I’ve had a child, a friend of mine, who cried the entire 17-hour plane ride from here to India. She had such severe stranger anxiety that even if no one maintained eye contact with her, she would cry. That was an epic one that we all still remember,” Manjunath said.