September 26, 2008,
C.W. asks from Roslyn, WA on September 25, 2008
4 Month Old Flying with a Cold?
My 4 month old just came down with a cold - it's a runny nose on one side and an occassional cough. Our neighbor takes care of him twice a week and Monday her 2 year old had a runny nose (she didn't tell us until my husband dropped him off and even though we kept him home the next day, the first day was enough to expose him apparently). Tuesday night I sensed he was getting a bit stuffed up. My husband didn't notice and neither did my mom who took care of him yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon he went to the doctor for his 4 month check-up and got his immunizations. When I got home at 6pm, he had a bit of a runny nose on one side. That persisted through the night although he slept well and has been eating normally.
Here's the big issue - we're supposed to fly on Sunday morning for a vacation. I'm going to call the Pediatrician, but am also looking for feedback from you moms about when to/not to fly with an infant with a cold. Have you done it, have you cancelled, what has been your experience?
Thanks in advance for any info.
K.M. answers from Portland on September 25, 2008
I have flown when my little guy had a very slight a cold (stuffy nose, pretty much) and it was fine - I nursed on the way up and way down, and he seemed no more bothered by the experience than he would be otherwise. I'm sure your doctor will have some good advice for you. Good luck!
W.C. answers from Seattle on September 26, 2008
Take one of those nose suction things and use it if he seems to be very plugged upped. Nurse him or have him suck on something during the take up and landing. That will help alot.
Z.A. answers from Seattle on September 26, 2008
I've flown sick with problems and without.
Sounds like your doing the right stuff. Have your ped check his ears, and see if there's a decongestant your Doc can prescribe or recommend for the flight. Also get the correct doseage for tylenol or ibuprofen. If you have the time "test" his reaction to any new drugs saturday.
Worst case scenario for flying with sick kids: If your son is recognizably ill you may not be allowed to board. Similarly, esp. if you're leaving the country, if your son is very sick when you land you may not be allowed to disembark, or could have the whole plane put in quarantine.
Is the worst case likely? No. Your son would have to be REALLY sick to have that happen.
Most likely the cold will self resolve by sunday.
In the middle ground: regardless of whether or not the cold has gone, & regardless of whether or not your doc has given you a decongestant for him, make sure you have a bottle for him (or are prepared to nurse) during takeoff and landing, and infant tylenol or advil helps too.
J.T. answers from Portland on September 26, 2008
C., please ask your pediatrician. We gave our little ones Benadryl (under doctor's advice, of course), but that was seven years ago, and I'm sure things have changed. Poor baby! Maybe he'll be better by Sunday. It's still a couple of days off. If you go, just be prepared for some serious crying. And be ready to offer lots of comfort. Good luck.
M.T. answers from Portland on September 26, 2008
Shouldn't be an issue if there is only minor congestion, no fever or ear infection or very active cough (since the dry air aggrevates). Your ped will provide good input of course, but as you can see from the mom's comments, we've all done it at one time or another! That's just the way it goes with the little ones sometimes. Be prepared for lots of runny noses over the years! I have only been "grounded" when my daughter got a mild case of croup. Apparently you should not fly with that condition since it is aggrevated by the air quality and you cannot provide relief measures (e.g., steam or really cold air) and access emergency care in case it is required.
M.K. answers from Seattle on September 26, 2008
i just flew twice with my son this week with a cold. he had the same symptoms, but he is older - 9 1/2 mos. i made sure he would be hungry at takeoff and landing and either BF or bottlefed him and he did great both ways. keeping his head high seems to help keep the congestion from draining down into his nose as much.
unless it gets worse, if you have a direct flight it probably won't be too bad. if you have multiple takeoff/landings it can be more difficult to time feedings/get lucky with no crying.
one thing i did on the first takeoff was feed him too soon so he stopped before we were at the final cruising altitude. the second time i waited to start til the plane actually lifted off. my pediatrician recommended giving him tylenol, which i did as soon as we boarded the plane.
J.C. answers from Seattle on September 26, 2008
-- of course you are exhausted , dear heart---
'''takes 9 months to make a baby, takes 9 months to win back to where you were'''
A quote from my grandmother--- who had 4 children- all born at home- all nursed til they weaned to a cup - AND was Phi Betta Kappa - from the U of Oregon in 1914!!-- . Dont expect yourself to be Superwoman 24/7 -.
Babies seem to do pretty well-- and your pediatrican or the nurse can advise you more specifically-. With a slight cold aggravated ( possibly) by immunizations - your baby sounds really healthy not to have had more of a reaction-.
Many, Many blessings - and I hope your trip is much fun.
B.S. answers from Springfield on September 26, 2008
I flew with my son when he was only 3 1/2 months old and he had a nasty cold. I kept a small saline solution bottle handy and a nose bulb to keep his airway as clear as possible because there's nothing like a screaming infant who can't readjust the pressure in his head after take off and during landing because of sinus issues. At the gate I showed them my medicine is was only a one ounce bottle so they let me take it. It made a big difference. Also, I made sure that about 1/2 hour before we left I gave him some tylenol, it really helped.