61 answers

Benadryl and Long Flights

I hate to ask this but has anybody followed the advice and given their children Benadryl for a long flight? We are going on an international flight with a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old Friday so I need advice quickly! If you have, how much? Thanks!

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I don't use Benedryl with any of my children. It is very mood altering. I remembered how "out of it" I felt when my mom used it for me as a kid. Also, my husband used to use it with my stepchildren. After I pointed out the personality changes it caused, he also stopped using it altogether. I don't recommend it for anything. I think it is overprescribed & overused with children. There are other alternatives for allergies and sleep issues (true issues, not just wanting them to sleep on a flight). For bug bites there are lots of non-oral options to use to treat the itching.

Don't feel bad trying Benedryl...just test it at home first. Some kids get knocked out. some get hyper and some don't respond at all. I tried it with my son, and it doesn't effect him at all! Hope you have better luck!!

M.,
I tried it once when they really were sick and needed to clear congestion. Worked like a dream. Tried it again the next time when healthy - backfired - wired to the max!!!!! My son was 3 at the time - followed Dr. recommended dosage - same as on package.

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ALL drugs can cause adverse side affects on our bodies (especially liver). They should be avoided at all costs unless there is absolutely NO other alternative during the time of illness.
Here is some info about Tylenol for e.g.:
http://www.medicinenet.com/tylenol_liver_damage/article.htm
Even though it is said that it is safe in small doses, it can cause liver damage and permanent damage in larger doses. Also, kids systems are less mature than adults, and more sensitive to the effects of drugs. and here is the info about Benadryl:

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/weeklyquestion/a/06_fly_be...
it is NOT recommended to sedate or drug your kids for a number of reasons such as:

* some children become hyper and irritable when they take antihistamines, which is exactly what you don't want on your flight
* the sedative effects of Benadryl may last a good 4-6 hours, which may be longer than your flight, and even after your child wakes up, he may be drowsy or groggy for several hours afterwards. So even if he sleeps on the flight, you might end up with a fussy and irritable child afterwards.
* unless the flight coincides with a nap time, making your child sleep by giving him a sedative will likely mess up the rest of his schedule, so that he doesn't want to go to sleep until late that night, leading to a late wake-up the next morning, etc.

2 moms found this helpful

If your concern is keeping them happy on a flight than I wouldn't use medication, if it is a health issue than ask your pediatritian before you leave. (Definitely bring with you a little first aid kit in case the kids get hurt on the way or suddenly start teething.)
I've flown with my now 3 year old probably on 20 flights and what has worked for us is on takeoff to avoid the earaches that produces screams: eat or drink all the way up until cruising altitudes. You can also use a pacifier if you use it or just nurse the little one. It does wonders for that portion.
For the flight boredom let them walk up and down the aisles. Not randomly but around once every hour have them take turns (so they can go as fast as their bodies will allow) running or walking down the aisle to the bathroom and back. Stretching the legs and constantly changing activities does wonders. Bring one bag dedicated to the kids toys. (Personally I always used a stroller just to carry our carry on luggage and held my daughter or had her walk.) Get a variety of toys, in fact this would be a great time to surprise the kids with presents as a new toy will occupy them far longer than an old one (and goodness knows kids love to unwrap things). You could get your 2 1/2 year old a new kids digital camera, Target has them and they are drop proof, you may not get award winning shots but my daughter went nuts about taking pictures because she saw me do it so much. Keep in mind that mechanical loud toys will tick off your fellow fliers- so if they have one that always soothes bring it but use only in case of emergancy melt down. Also pack lots of snacks - a hungry kid is an unhappy one and airplane food is a joke and you'll never know if the concourse you are in will have food your kid likes. Make sure you have the diapers (if you use them) for twice as long as you expect to be there (I once ran into a poor dad at an airport who missed his flight and had run out of diapers luckily I had enough to spare) and a change of clothes for each kid. If you have a portable DVD player by all means bring it and a favorite video if your kids watch TV (and honestly to keep them happy on such a long flight even if they have never watched it you can make it a special flight treat- I recommend Winnie the Pooh- specifically "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and "My Friends Tigger and Pooh" both are totally violence and fear free just a lot of fun for the kids). IF you don't have a portable DVD player you can get one for like $35 they have about a 5 inch screen but who cares, this way if it gets broken you don't mind and you certainly don't want to lug around anything big on the plane. All in all, if your kids do still at some point make a fuss and you get a dirty look from someone take it with a grain of salt, no one is perfect and these kids are trying really hard in what is to them a really difficult situation. Worse case scenario, if your kid is screaming I once read to lock yourself in the bathroom with them. I don't know about that but with a sink and a mirror and lots of new things to see there it might be a good momentary distraction (the sink usually makes very satisfying noises).
Anyway have fun on your trip and remember the flight is only temporary :)
Oh and I would get a Giggle Bug for your oldest, it attaches onto their clothes (best on the back so they can't take it off) and you have the remote- if you can't see your kid you press the alarm and believe me, you'll hear it (I got this after my 2 year old ducked under the bathroom stall in St. Louis International and made a run for it).

1 mom found this helpful

I too have taken young children on international flights, and I tried the benadryl, but it wears off, and then you can't re-dose. However I have used something natural called Calm Child that works fairly well. Don't forget that whatever you do, make sure that you have something for them to suck on or drink during takeoff and landing to keep the ears from plugging. Good luck and have fun.

1 mom found this helpful

I've done it. Our doctor suggested it. He said that Benedryl has a very short half life and is in and out of the body very quickly. However, now that I know about liquid melatonin, ( a harmless natural substance that is usually produced by the body to induce sleep) I might use that.

At the time, the Benedryl seemed to be the best solution because our son got a lot of ear infections also.

1 mom found this helpful

I recently went on a flight from CA to Florida with my 6 month old son. He had a bit of a cold going out so I gave him half the recommended dosage of benadryl (1 teaspoon I think) and it worked great. On the way back he didn't have a cold anymore but I still gave it to him to help him sleep on the long flight. Did I feel guilty and like a horrible mother for "drugging" my son? Yes. But I think it made the flight better for me, him and the people around me.

Suggestion - try the benadryl tonight before you leave. It can make some kids hyper rather than sleepy - not something you want to find out on a long flight!

I've never done it, but beware. My daughter has allergies and I hate to give her beadryl. It makes her active and edgy.

Call your doctor to get the right dose for their weight, but I have given my kids benedryl for several different reasons, one being a flight to the east coast. If you have never given your child benedryl before, you should try it out before, since on some kids, instead of acting as a sedative, it actually makes them hyper. Not something you want to find out on a long flight. My daughter had a severe allergic reaction when she was just an infant, and they prescribed benedryl then, I think it was like 3/4 of a tsp and she was around 7 months old I think. She was a big kid for her age though, so you definitely want to make sure you get the dose right.

I would ask why you want to sedate your children with a drug that's not meant for sedation or for children under the ages of 6. Are you concerned that your children would be too stressed during the flight or is your reasoning more for your own comfort? If the concern is for your children, I would suggest contacting your doctor and speaking honestly about your concerns and why you'd want a sedative for your munchkins. I'm sure if your doctor felt it was appropriate and safe, he/she wouldn't mind writing you a prescription. Just in case you go ahead with the Benadryl, please know that it doesn't always cause a child to sleep. Sometimes they become more hyper and irritable than they already were.

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