Drugging Children to Keep Them Quiet

Adrienne - posted on 03/17/2010 ( 87 moms have responded )

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Alrighty, so this came up in the Babies on Planes thread, and, not being able to resist a good debate, I had to start a new thread.



Two mothers mentioned getting perscriptions from doctors to medicate children during a plane trip. Presumably to keep them calm and sedated. This honestly bothers me profoundly! I try not to give my child chemical medications at all, just as I try to avoid taking them myself. This has worked well for my family thus far...



That said, I don't understand why a parent, or doctor especially would choose to give a child completely unnecesary medication?!?!



To keep the child quiet?



To cause less of a nuisance to other people on board?



I'm not trying to upset anyone here, so please don't take offense. I was more than a little disturbed by reading those comments so I felt the need to get other parent's opinions on the subject...

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Iris - posted on 03/21/2010

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I think using benadryl or any other other medicine should be done in moderation. That being said, I don't think that giving your child benadryl before a long flight is anything to get upset about.

Before we moved from Germany to Hawaii our ped. gave us benadryl. I decided not to give my girls any. The reasons I had were that my older one had always been very good on flights and my little one had never been on long flight so I didn't know how she would be. That 10 hour flight from Germany to Atlanta was a nightmare for all of us, specially my 2 y/o. 2 hrs. into the flight she wanted to leave and cried most of the way after that. She slept for 20-40 min. here and there when she got too exhausted from crying and I cursed myself for packing that Benadryl in the suitcase.

When we flew from Atlanta to Hawaii we gave her a little dose of benadryl. She fell a sleep right after take off and woke up couple of hours before we landed and watched 2 episodes of Dora. Needless to say, that flight was much less stressful on her then the first flight. And I'd do it again if I need to. This was almost 2 years ago so for the next long flight we'll take, I'll make sure to have benadryl handy just in case.



To tell people not to fly if their kids are having a hard time dealing is assuming that every family is the same as yours (yours in general).

We are a Military family and my in-laws live in Illinois and Indiana, my family lives in Iceland and Denmark. On top of that we PCS (move places) every 3-5 years.

All of our situations are different and so are our children.

Tah - posted on 03/21/2010

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a ride in a airplane is not the same as "other situations" the way it affects the body is different, being in a confined space for hours on end not being able to move around very much is very much different than going to a sporting event or play, when the 2-3 year old acts up at a play you can walk them out until they calm down, i doubt walking out the airplane is advised. same at a sporting event, but a sporting event is loud and fun and made for screaming and having a ball.



I don't understand why some moms act like other moms go unprepared, we all have our bag of tricks. coloring books, movies, toys, books, snacks, and our patience....but just because it entertains your child the whole flight doesn't mean someone else's child has the same attention span, and the same anxiety level. Doesn't mean your child is a wild undisciplined animal who runs rabid in the street, just because they may be very energetic. My 3 year old has more energy then my 13 and 8 year old had at that age put together, each child is different, when we are driving to NC or Philadelphia to visit family he gets anxious. Will lose interest in his movies, and everything else in the trip kit. But we can at least stop at a rest stop and let him run around a bit while we all get the blood flowing in our legs again. Not the case on a plane. It's unfamilar, it's closed in, it has a different affect on your body, and lots of strangers......some children may need a benedryl. If your child sits still or is easily distracted by activities than you have def. been blessed, but every child is different.

Mary - posted on 03/18/2010

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Sarah, I agree...it was something I had never even thought about, and my gut reaction a year ago would have been an unequivocal "no". Now that she is 16 months old, and running all over the place, I can see where expecting her to sit still in a plane for a few hours during the day would be akin to tormenting HER, let alone everyone else on that plane. No amount of books or toys would make her okay with being stuck in that little cabin for 5 hours (and those pesky attendants would probably not let her run up and down the aisles the whole time for silly reasons to do with safety!).

Again, I have not had to deal with this (and my family is all within driving distance), but if I did, I would most likely take a "play-it-by-ear" approach...meaning, I'd have some on hand should it be warranted. If I in ANY way thought it would HARM her, of course I would not do it. I have given her benadryl twice before for allergic reactions to a certain brand of sunscreen, and she was utterly fine with it, so I know she would not have some bizarre reaction to it.

Susanne, all I can say is ....wow. It just never occurred to me that becoming a mother meant I stopped being a daughter, sister, or friend. If I could be of support or assistance to a loved one in a time of need, and it would not cause undue harm or strain to my family, I would do whatever I could for them, but maybe my family IS a little funny in the way we care for each other.

Johnny - posted on 03/18/2010

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I've never drugged my daughter to keep her quiet, to get her to sleep, or to be calm. But I believe that babies possess all the same senses and feelings and ability to feel pain as I do, so I have given my child tylenol to relieve the pain of teething and lower a fever. I would take something in that situation and I feel it would be wrong of me to deny my daughter relief from discomfort. And if I was such an anxious or hyper-fearful flier or prone to serious ear pain, I would also take something. So if my daughter had any of these problems, I would see her doctor and follow his recommendations.

I've flown with her on several occasions, and she has been fantastic. I've nursed her on the way up, she plays and reads during the flight, and I nurse her on the way down. But I always pack some tylenol in my diaper bag just in case she has a bad reaction to the altitude change and begins to experience serious ear pain. I will be flying to Las Vegas with her next week, and I will do the same thing. I doubt that this will be necessary, as the nursing seems to manage the altitude change extremely well, but I do not like to be unprepared. However, if she's bored and cranky, I would not consider giving her anything to calm her. I feel it would simply be my responsibility to manage her and find ways to entertain her.

There are plenty of reasons have to fly places. Sometimes people need to visit family or to move or go to a funeral. Should we reject our families and our lives because our kids might be difficult for 8 hours? That is absurd! I am flying next week for a vacation. We will be on a 2 hour flight to get some sunshine, take it easy, eat some room service, and play in the pool. I am looking forward to being able to relax with my daughter, not worry about housework, cooking, laundry, the garden and going to work and just focus all of my attention on her for a few days. To me, those are great reasons to get on a plane, not at all "necessary" but still valuable to my family and good for my daughter.

I am really opposed to the idea of regularly using anything to "drug" kids. I have an ex-friend who used gravol and nyquil to drug her son to sleep. Nightly. Our friendship ended over this issue. She went out partying a lot and I looked after him a lot while she was out. I found him to be a delightful child, bright and engaging, who was fairly well behaved and I could rock to sleep easily. She did not care to engage him or parent him to sleep, so she drugged him. Now, he's 8, he is severely developmentally delayed, he only fully potty trained when he was 6, his verbal skills are at a 4 year old level, and his behavior is atrocious. It broke my heart watching this, and she excused it as a "parenting decision".

I think most reasonable people can tell the difference between a "parenting decision" and abuse. Giving kids something to help them manage a flight somewhere on a one-time occasion is completely reasonable. Drugging them on a regular basis is horrible and awful.

Esther - posted on 03/18/2010

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Wow. I live in the US while all of my relatives and all of my husband's relatives (including his 86 year old grandfather) live in Holland. Since it is impossible to ship all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, grandfather etc. over here, we go there to visit them. So that means that I have taken an 8 hour flight (each way) with my son at age 4 months, 9 months and 12 months. We did chose not to travel in the last year (he's 2 now) in part because I think the older they get, the more difficult it is (it's easy with an infant, plop 'em in the bassinet and off you go). It never occurred to me to give him any type of medication. I just hoped for the best, brought distractions, got him his own seat and took a deep breath. It went very smoothly each time although it was exhausting because you have to "parent" non-stop for the entire duration of the trip. I'm personally not a fan of giving any type of medication unless necessary, but honestly some of the feelings expressed on the "no drugs" side on this thread go WAY beyond where I am on this issue and it makes me want to post here and say "everybody, please "drug" your kids". It's not like we're talking about shooting them up with heroin here. And especially if your pediatrician was consulted and has approved the use of Benedryl or something of that nature, I honestly don't think there is much harm in it. As for picking flights that leave at convenient times - that works if you're traveling from New York to Boston as there are flights every hour. If you travel long distance, you don't always have that choice. To Holland, the flights there are red-eyes, but the return flights leave in the morning and arrive late afternoon. It is what it is. To say that people should just all stay home regardless of the reason they have to fly is just ridiculous.

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Rosie - posted on 03/27/2010

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i would like to point out that as a mother of a child with adhd i didn't find it easy for him to be diagnosed with it. we had to go through hours of questions and tests, 2 different times for a second opinion. i've always heard that mothers and doctors jump to the conclusion that the child has adhd, but i've never seen it happen with anybody i know. i guess i don't know many kids with adhd other than my niece, and my son, and my friends autistic child, but it didn't seem very easy to get his diagnosis, and then to figure out the proper medication and dosage to give him. i'm starting to wonder if this is an old wives tale of some sort. i obviously have no statistics on this, but where i live what i've experienced this doesn't happen.

Jennifer - posted on 03/26/2010

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On the subject of stimulants for ADD, you can't begin to imagine the number of drawn out arguments I've had with patients who come in and insist that they have ADD. It's not fun having to argue with someone not to give them what they want, be it antibiotics, stimulants, cough medicine, pain medicine, etc. In the US, doctors are encouraged to see patients in less than 20 minutes by insurance company reimbursement rates (or risk losing money and losing their jobs). It is not profitable to fight with a patient to do the best practices. So, they give out the medications. Is ADHD over diagnosed? Yes, but it's not always the doctors who chose to do the diagnosing. It takes a lot of information and time to make a good diagnosis of ADHD. Not easily obtainable in 15 minutes.

Benedryl has been around for a long, long time, and from what research can tell, is pretty safe in the prescribed doses. If I thought it would help my child cope with a situation, I would give it. When my baby's crying and I can't figure out what is wrong, I sometimes give him Tylenol if I think he's in pain. I also give him gas medicine if I think he might be having gas pains. I don't want my baby to suffer, and hearing him cry out in pain is heart wrenching. I definitely try to minimize medications for him and me, since I'm breast feeding, but most importantly, I want him to suffer as little as possible. I'll stick with what I know is safe for him, and I'm not going to mess around with herbal remedies which I'm not sure is safe. Show me the research studies, and I might change my mind after reviewing it.

[deleted account]

I agree Mary! I don't think that doctors are solely to blame either...... too many parents think it's acceptable and don't seek other treatments or explanations! Funny story:

I was waiting outside a clinic for it to open the other morning ( I was pretty sure I had an ear infection and needed antibiotics ) and this girl was sitting on the curb talkin on her phone saying, " Ya, I'm just waiting to get in to see the doctor......I just need another perscription for this stupid bladder infection that keeps coming back! ".....LOL! Apparently this was her third time in to this clinic for the SAME problem and she actually expected ANOTHER perscription??? WTF?!

Tah - posted on 03/25/2010

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exactly...some need redirection and discipline, different forms work for different children, i saw a child just now in the store, giving mom heck and she looked worn out and i could tell who runs the household and I doubt that little Johnny had ADHD..he just has the upper hand, I see parents who think the behavior os cute until the children are older, and then he;s not so smart and alert, he's too grown and sassy

The rules that usedto apply don't apply anymore, I wasn't allowed to sit around while grown people talked to each other, if the neighbor saw me doing something she had every right to grip me up and take me to my mother for the spank down, or punishment, depending on what i had done...I

Mary - posted on 03/25/2010

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Dana, I'm not sure that the docs are solely to blame...I think a lot of parents go in demanding that their kid be medicated. After all, half the class already is...and look how well behaved those kids are now!

While I don't deny the existence and impact of behavioral and learning disorders, I do think that many parents today are desperately looking for a syndrome or diagnosis to explain away their child's difficulties...as if they are looking to be absolved of any guilt or blame. "It's not that I'm a bad parent...little Johnny has ADHD" Yes, some little Johnnies really do - but a lot of them really don't.

[deleted account]

Ritalin is WAY over perscribed IMO.....as are many perscription drugs these days! Doctors just wanna get you in and out and instead of discussing alternative solutions they just write a script and send you on ur way.....AND a lot of people are perfectly content and accepting of this!

Tah - posted on 03/25/2010

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I think that some ritalin is overused and some of the children can be redirected, too many people take their children in for being active and too many doctors are ready to label our children....I don't think it's the same thing, if your child is active and gets anxious there are many more options to re-direct if you are not in a box thousands of feet above the ground...

Esther - posted on 03/25/2010

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I am not fundamentally opposed to Ritalin but I do think it's overprescribed. I think the difference though is that you don't give that to a kid on a one-off basis. You would have to give that every day over a long period of time.

Hannah - posted on 03/25/2010

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This is an intresting post! So how does everyone feel about giving children drugs like Ritalin and other behavior modifying drugs? Is it the same thing?

Tah - posted on 03/21/2010

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alot of the mothers on here said the doctor is the one that told them to give the benedryl....and it is the calming effect that benedryl has, a doctor is not going to rx valium to a child if they only experience the anxiety once a year..or on a flight, they will tell you something to substitue, or that will help....

Krista - posted on 03/21/2010

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A lot of doctors will prescribe Benadryl in those cases, as most anti-anxiety meds are very unsafe for children. Benadryl, on the other hand, is available in children's formulations and has very few contraindications. One of its side effects is that it has a sedating effect -- hence its off-label use for calming children who get extremely anxious while flying.

I think we have two different situations going on. There are some who will sedate their children so that they behave. I don't agree with that. But then there are some, like Iris, whose children completely freak the hell out while flying. This isn't a case of misbehaving. This is a case of a child being completely traumatized by flying, in which case I think that it's almost cruel to say "Well, I don't believe in meds", and let your kid suffer.

Rosie - posted on 03/21/2010

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good point carol! if that's the case, then i would go to the doctor and get something prescribed for the anxiety of the situation, but to take a drug made for something else and give it to my kid wouldn't happen-unless the doctor told me to give my kid that drug. and that would only be for anxiety, not if a child was high energy. i get motion sickness badly and it seems like my oldest is starting to get it too. i take dramamine, if we went on a plane or a long car ride i'd give him one as well, not something that was made for another medical issue. why would i give him benadryl, when the problem is nausea, not allergies?

Tah - posted on 03/21/2010

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who is hurting their children with a teaspoon of benedryl, noone is giving their child a hit of crack...it's not everyday because you wanna smooze around, it's a flight where a child is anxious and uncomfortable and in a situation they can't get out of anytime soon in some cases, sometimes even if your chewing carrots on the way up and down, doesn't help the pressure, trust me, tried it, i mean the people who are saying well i fed the baby on the way up and down, did the baby/child pop up and say thanks mom, that really helped with the pressure....we don't know if it did or not if they can't tell you. I know someone will say i asked my 1 year old and joey said "why yes mom, many thanks, dear mother, you are a gem..." People do what works for them. I just don't understand where people are acting like one little dose of approved medication to help with some anxiety is the same as keeping your kid drugged and drooling in a corner every night...it's a one time thing and it works for these moms,



I don't want to be rude either(i promised it for the new year) but the intolerance of other peoples choices sometimes gets my boy shorts in a knot..i understand it's a debate, i get that...but diggity dog....somtimes i think things get blown way out of proportion on here...how does a little benedryl on take-off get treated like a shot of thorazine on floor 5 of the hospital, nobody is taking the kids shoe laces for goodness sake...I respect the right of mothers to fuss, entertain, play, and pray during a flight, but if i have to take this little guy on a long flight, knowing how he is in a car already, shoes off, shoes on, movies off, movie on..whine cry, yell, i can't breath, my tummy hurt..etc...and no rest stops in the air so you best to beleive I am going to have the bene in my bag of tricks, right next to the coloring book and under his movies, to the left of his motorcycle collection. If he doesn't need it, then so be it..if he does become anxious and disruptive..u better know it..



I also know that people have kids and other people need to get over it, and though i would never "drug" my kid because mr. business trip was staring me down, I also try to be mindful of others, i know the world doesn't revolve around me and rylan, We share it with others and I like to consider their comfort and hearing also, not above my child's of course, but i try to give it a thought, just how i was raised to be mindful of others....

Krista - posted on 03/21/2010

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Exactly. I'm not a fan of medicating kids willy-nilly. However, I'm also not a fan of making a kid suffer for the sake of my own principles. And if I had to fly with my child, and that experience was making him suffer, then principles be damned -- I'm going to do what I have to do to spare my child from torment.

Johnny - posted on 03/21/2010

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Would you take something if you suffered from extreme anxiety or claustrophobia and had to fly? IMy mom takes ativan to deal with flying because she has serious anxiety AND claustrophobia. She's an absolute mess on a plane without the drug, and if she takes it, she can enjoy her flight and the rest of her vacation. It is not like she drugs herself on a daily basis to relax, but to deal specifically with a situation that causes her emotional pain.

Kids have all sorts of personalities, just like adults, and every kid is going to handle a flight differently. I do not think it is even slightly "odd" that some parents know their kids well enough to understand that a flight is going to be a highly stressful and miserable event for them. Would you expect an adult to go through that kind of personal agony? I personally think that we keep saying that people are giving their kids drugs when "they don't need it". That is a false argument. They may not need it for allergies or an ear infection, but they need it for anxiety, claustrophobia, and ear pain. I think it would be horrible to fly with miserable children who as a result develop a deep-seated fear of flying.

I have not had to drug my daughter, nor do I think I will have to. She is high-energy but not the type to get stressed out when flying. But I completely support other parents who know their kids well enough to understand both their emotional and physical needs.

Rosie - posted on 03/21/2010

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i completely agree that each kid is different and i know damn well that one of my kids in particular would be the one that isn't easily distracted by toys and coloring books and such. it has just never even crossed my mind to drug them, if somebody can't deal with my handful of a child to bad for them, and if my child couldn't handle the anxiety of being a plane, i'd do everything i could to make them feel better-drugging them isn't on the list so if my comforting doesn't work, well,the plane has to land sometime. i'm not trying to be argumentative or rude, i just don't even know how it has popped into peoples heads to give a child medication when they don't need it. i liken it to giving a child tylenol just for the sake of giving them tylenol, sure it's not going to hurt them, but what's the point? i don't know, it just seems odd to me.

Rosie - posted on 03/21/2010

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i don't feel the need to give my kids drugs to calm them down, if that were the case i'd have to drug them up everyday!! lol! i've never flown with my children, i'd never even flown myself until a year and a half ago. we're talking about going to hawaii this year and taking the kids, and my husband is all freaked out that the boys will piss somebody off on the plane. he's been debating whether or not to go on that particular vacation or try something different where we don't have to fly. but the idea of drugging them has never even been thought of or debated.
i understand how people have to fly sometimes, but i don't understand why they can't do what they normally do when a child is anxious or a handful. i don't ever hear of a person drugging their kid before a sporting event or a play because they're nervous. it just seems weird to me to even think of it.
if a pediatrician recommended it and gives you the proper dose i obviously know it's not going to harm them, but it just seems so weird that travel would be the only time that someone would think of drugging their kid.

JL - posted on 03/20/2010

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I have flown alone with my kids more than once and I have not given them meds while doing so,but if you have a kid that is prone to reacting with anxiety,crying and screaming whenever they are in situations that are not normal and part of their routine then I could see giving a child for their benefit a small dose of doctor's prescribed benadryl. I wouldn't jump on someone for doing that and act like that is some horrific parental thing to do...gosh forbid someone try to make their high anxiety child more comfortable.



There were some comments made about how you should not fly then if that is what you have to do to make your kid comfortable about flying...well for some of us the reality is that we or our spouses have careers that require moving every few years and travelling and sometimes that requires us to ride an airplane



My husband is in the military and we are not always stationed in areas that we can drive to.



So if a militiary family is stationed overseas for 3 years and they have an anxious toddler who will not react well to flying are you all who are so adament about not using prescription medication...saying that that they should tell their spouse sorry we cannot move together as a family I will see you 3 years from now because as a parent you would never dare to put your child who is anxious about flying on a plane andnever dare to use doctor prescribed meds to alleviate your childs anxiety about flying.



Oh wait perhaps you all have figured out how to drive from the US to Europe.

[deleted account]

I've been lucky enough to never need to resort to drugging, but I'm not against it for an occasional flight. One time per year isn't gonna kill a child. Some people give their children Tylenol or cough medicine if they have a runny nose. Which is really worse in the long term?

Lady - posted on 03/19/2010

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Like I said on the babys on planes thread I took my 18 month old child on a 9 hour flight to America, Along with my two older children. She would normally sleep about 2 hours during the day at that point but on the flight she only slept about 1/2 an hour. I had packed a bag full of toys and games and food for her just like I did with the older ones and was able to keep her amused for the rest of the time. It was hard work and I was pretty exhasted by the time we landed made worse by the fact we still had a 2 hour drive before we reached our final destination. Thankfully she slept in the car but I has to fight off sleep in order to keep my husband company on the drive. Still after all that two months later on the return journey knowing I was probably going to have to face pretty much the same it never once occured to me to giver her something to get her to sleep longer to make things easier for myself. Medication is for illnesses or for pain and should only ever be given for those reasons. I don't take medication for any other reason and even then try to avoid it for as long as possible - the same goes for my kids. I will be taking my son on a flight this summer when again he will be about 18 months old, he is a very active child already but there is no way I'll be giving him anything either - thankfully it only a 2 hour flight this time so maybe I won't be quite as exhasted when we land.

[deleted account]

Jo, you always have a lovely way to say things :-) I can't figure out the quote crap either.




OK, that may or may not work. But back to the drugging thing. Yeah, my hubby is proving that men are incompetent when planning events. Hubby is going out of town this weekend because he is in a wedding. So...no clue WHERE the church is, no clue where the reception hall is. Confusing dates & times. Did he give me his flight info yet? NO! Rental car-was ready to book a Mustang. Um...NOT in NJ with the insurance rates! He is house hoppnig and still doesn't know who is he staying with what night. So yeah, I'd like to drug him right now!

Kate CP - posted on 03/18/2010

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It's without the *. Copy the text, paste it, and then put before the text and after the text.

It'll look like this.

[deleted account]

Quoting Jo "Again... a small dose is NOT GOING TO HARM THEM. Unless you're a jackass and are trying to drug them to the point of complacency - then you're fucked in the head and that's a whole different story."



Jo, you always have a lovely way to say things :-) I can't figure out the quote crap either.

Charlie - posted on 03/18/2010

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This is based on my opinion and personal experience flying with cooper .



No i would never give Cooper medication for anything other than illness or pain , we flew together last month he was fine on the first flight but the second flight he made sure everyone knew he was on the plane by making LOTS of noise all i could do was calm him down and redirect his attention , i made sure i packed lots of toys , water and snacks , he calmed down after a while , had something to eat and fell asleep after a bit of rocking him on my lap ( it took longer than it sounds LOL) , personally i would prefer to do it this way even though it was hard and took a bit of time i just find medication an unnecessary chemical for a child to ingest purely to get them to sleep .



But that is what works for Cooper and i :)

?? - posted on 03/18/2010

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Quoting Dana:
Jo: WAY OFF TOPIC but.......how do you get that cool box around ur quote? LMAO! I'm serious......I've notice it quite a bit and I can't figure out how to do it? Please help.....it may be a matter of life or death cuz it's driving me crazy tryin to figure it out!


There is a pinned thread on this forum called Reply With Quotes And Other Options (found here: http://www.circleofmoms.com/debating-mum... ) it shows you in there how to make the quoted text, bold text and italic text :)

If it doesn't make sense, PM me and I will try and explain more / different for you.



I think giving your child something to relax them (even enough so that they sleep) on a plane is no different than giving your older child (or yourself) gravol on a road trip when you know your children get carsick. Or any different than giving them something when they're teething, or something when they're sick.

It's not about DRUGGING them to the point that you don't have to DEAL WITH THEM. It's about ensuring your child doesn't end up enduring some traumatic, horrifyingly uncomfortable struggle for hours on end. If your child can take some benadryl and that relieves them from the anxiety, tension and panic that they may face in a tiny lil capsule in the sky... I'm thinking that's a lot more motherly, attentive and caring than expecting them to panic, scream, cry, be terrified and have a possibly scarring memory...

Again... a small dose is NOT GOING TO HARM THEM. Unless you're a jackass and are trying to drug them to the point of complacency - then you're fucked in the head and that's a whole different story.

Patricia - posted on 03/18/2010

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I'm wondering how often parents really fly with young children, because most people I know either chose to drive or not fly at all with young children. Maybe once or twice...But if parents do fly with their young children, is it than safe to say that those that feel the need to sedate their child, must already know that their child(ren) will be unruly on the plane and THAT'S the real reason for the sedation...

[deleted account]

Jo: WAY OFF TOPIC but.......how do you get that cool box around ur quote? LMAO! I'm serious......I've notice it quite a bit and I can't figure out how to do it? Please help.....it may be a matter of life or death cuz it's driving me crazy tryin to figure it out!

[deleted account]

An approved dosage of a medication does not equal a stoned and strung out kid! Common sense here. I'm sure Mary could share some horrible stories of delivering crack babies. Like I said, a teaspoon of Benedryl does not create a drug addicted co-dependent baby! I've had my share of 8th graders that came to class high. Again, nothing at all compared to an approved dosage by the advice of the doctor.

?? - posted on 03/18/2010

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Quoting Nikki:

try my best to calm him down but Im not going to harm my child to appease everyone


If you give him enough to harm him then you're going to the extreme and there's probably something going a lil wrong with the dosing lol to imply that it's automatically harmful... is silly. I'm sorry but that's redonkulous and extreme :P

Adrienne - posted on 03/18/2010

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And by the way, Tah Dula -



I don't, for the record, think that a parent should have a child taken away for something like that, nor do I think I love my child more than you do. I also don't think that any of you are "bad mothers" simply for dosing your children in this way. I merely think it is unnecesary, and in my OPINION, a bad choice.



Which is why we are here, right? To debate what we think is the "right" choice?



Yes I am judging.



I am judging whether or not it's right to give your child medicine for sedation on a plane.



Not you as a mother.

Nikki - posted on 03/18/2010

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WOW I just got into an arguement with my MIL over this twenty minutes ago, we are flying to Mexico on Sunday and she keeps telling me I should give him meds for the plane, my son is 9 months old and yes this is his first plane ride , I would love for it to go smoothly but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I DRUG MY CHILD!!!!! this is ridiculous and a cop out... I will bring him toys and snacks and feed him during take off and landing and I will hope for the best, but Im not going to try and sedate him to please everyone else, I will walk him up and down and try my best to calm him down but Im not going to harm my child to appease everyone Im sorry

?? - posted on 03/18/2010

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I think that a lil something to calm them down is nothing to freak out about. Considering the emotional trauma that can come from an event that can be as stressful and scary as flying to some people... I would prefer a mother give her child something to calm him down then even think of the trauma that child would endure forever afterwards.

Personally, I don't even give my son tylenol... I would make other arrangements for travel or someone to watch him until I can make other arrangements or if it was completely unavoidable I would suck it up and do what I had to do to make sure he was pacified without using medication (my son is pretty laid back and not a panicky kid at all so I don't think I would have a problem with him - but if I did think I would) my last concern would be the people around me. I paid for my tickets the same as they did and it's not like I would just let him sit there and scream without trying to do something about it.

The parents that REALLY piss me off are the stupid bitches that let their children run wild on the plane, kicking seats, bumping people, being lil bastards while they sit there and read their books with their headphones on... I've wanted to get up and scream at those kids before. A mother doing everything they can to help their poor screaming baby deal with flying, I've only ever felt helpless and sympathy for.

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Hi! Although I choose NOT to ' drug ' my child during a flight I don't believe others should be condemned for it! To each their own! My child is also PERFECT! LOL! ;)

Krista - posted on 03/18/2010

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Why not just choose a flight at the time your child normally sleeps? Buy them a seat to themselves, as one mother did? Bring actvities? Walk them up and down the aisle...

I can understand that MAYBE in a totally EXTREME case with a child this may be warranted...actually no, I can't.

Honestly it shocks me and is AWFUL in my opinion that parents would do this to their children for any reason. If your child is SO affected by flying that they require chemical sedation. DON'T FLY!!!!


So then, what about my friend who was reassigned from Port-Au-Prince to Abu Dhabi? I have no idea if she gave her kids Benadryl or not. But if her daughters had been severely affected by flying, then pray tell...what choice would she have had?

There are circumstances where parents and kids HAVE to fly. And flights don't always leave at the most convenient times, especially on long-haul journeys.

No, I do not agree with people sedating their kids just to get them to behave on a regular basis. But in a situation like what I just outlined above? I would never judge another mother for doing what she had to do to keep her kids comfortable.

Kate CP - posted on 03/18/2010

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I have! You ever see a child have an allergic reaction to chamomile? Not pretty!

Adrienne - posted on 03/18/2010

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I never said I let the toddlers run up and down the aisles....we went to the bathroom. Herba medications are not unregulated, you just have to do your research. I have NEVER seen a child have negative side effects from properly utilized herbal meds. I honestly don't know enoough about the regulatory practices to debate about them comfortably, but my family doctor is a DO and a herbal practitioner so i'm sure you can call one in your local area to get more information if you care to know.

Kate CP - posted on 03/18/2010

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Regardless of how easy a time you may have had, it is unrealistic and unreasonable to expect other parents and their children to have to endure hours of torture when a safe alternative is available. I'll say it again: sedating a child ONCE for a long and stressful plane ride is different than drugging a child daily just because you want a nap.

Mary - posted on 03/18/2010

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Adrienne, what airlines have you flown on lately that will allow you to let your toddler run up and down the aisles for 5 hours? I've been on flights where the attendants have told a parent that a trip to the bathroom was fine, but letting their 2 y/o walk back and forth was both a safety hazard and a disruption to the other passengers. I also don't know a whole lot of toddlers who have the attention span, patience or discipline to remain in their own seat and be happy with just a few books and toys. Maybe my little girl is unusual, but she likes to be up and moving a lot during the day. As for picking a flight time that is during her normal sleeping hours...well, that would obviously be preferential, but sadly, most of us cannot dictate flight times (especially transatlantic) that always suit our personal schedules. These were all lovely suggestions on your part...just not necessarily realistic or within your control.



Again, I have yet to need to fly with my 16 month old, so I have no personal experience with this challenge of motherhood. I do know that I would consider ALL options that would make it the easiest, smoothest, least stressful experience for HER, and that could include the use of benadryl. Unlike the OP's suggestion that it was merely to accommodate other passengers, or make the parent's job easier, I believe that most parent's primary concern are for the comfort and ease of the CHILD. We are not talking about the routine "drugging" of a child, but rather addressing a specific, isolated situation. Honestly, I see it in a similar vein with pre-medicating for a medical procedure, such as an MRI, or angiography. Both of these CAN be done without the use of sedation, but they are a lot more unpleasant without them. As for unregulated herbal supplement on a toddler?? Not in a million flippin years would I do that...despite the implications otherwise, I care about the safety of my child entirely too much, and for this specific situation, would much rather use a a medication such as benadryl that is physician approved, regulated and well-tested (and she has had before for an allergic reaction without issue) as opposed to experimenting with something like valerian root whose safety and efficacy in a small child is unknown.

Adrienne - posted on 03/18/2010

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Kate -



This is an off topic debate, lol. Though something I am MORE than happy to debate as my child RARELY takes chemical meds, I have taken vitamins and supplements for years, and also eat a healthy and well balanced diet. Because of poor farming methods, the soil is largly depleted, and a head of broccoli doesn't provide the same nutrition as it did a hundred years ago. Hence, supplements.



You're right that herbal remedies are not approved by the FDA. Which is again, another debate. Monsanto foods, if you've ever heard of it is approved by the FDA but uses genetic engineering to produce "mutant" food so that bugs won't eat it, and it's immune to weedkillers. Those foods depend on those weedkillers and poisons to live. They are also designed to kill off non-monsanto seeds. I don't want to eat it either. Our food is FULL of awful chemicals and KNOWN carcinogens that are still approved by the FDA because it's far cheaper to produce than local, natural produce.



Yes, herbal remedies CAN be just as harmful as chemical ones. If used without intelligence and knowledge. There are many many good sources and people you can go to to learn to use these remedies. I believe, and have seen research to prove, that when used correctly, these remedies are just as effective as chemical meds, and why not give your child a natural alternative if you can?



Anyway, like I said, a whole other debate.



Sharon -



I have flown with my child only once, but I have taken children I nannied for, ranging in age from 2 months to 6 years, on a plane by myself several times. I have had experiences ranging from peaceful to really stressful. The most challenging experience I had was with 18 month old twins. We had purchased a row of seats, and I spent the entire flight playing with them/ distracting them feeding them on the way up and the way down. We walked to the tiny bathroom once to stretch but playing quiet head shoulders knees and toes. When exiting the plane an older gentleman came up to me and confessed that he had been petrified when he saw me get on the plane with the boys but that they (though NOT by any means silent or tear free during the flight) had been better than he expected and that though he hated children, he was glad people like me worked so hard with them.

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BTW, I am still not sleeping cause I am still not sure what to take!! Or when I do sleep, I am up 3-4 times a night. Plus we still play ring around the beds here.

Tah - posted on 03/18/2010

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my father thought herbs and vitamins were the best thing ever...his doctor told him that everything you put in ur body has a effect....so before we go picking natural things and making tea out of them for a headache..lets keep this in mind...

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I agree with you 100% Kate. I am on the fence with natural and herbal stuff. If my pediatrician recommends it for my son, then that is what I will use. My pedi is from Hawaii and is an older man. He phrases his language as "The AAP recommends blah blah blah, but being raised in a traditional Hawaiian culture has taught me blah blah blah". My own general practioner just prescribed me a script for Ambien because I have sleep issues, but chose NOT to fill it after doing my own research. Instead, I contacted a friend of mine who is Native American, and asked what she suggested in terms of a natural sleep aide. But I still am on the fence and go by the advice of the doctor in addition to my own research. What works for one family may not work for another.

Tah - posted on 03/18/2010

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antihistamines likened to narcotics..thats amazing..i have to give my 3 year old benedryl because he has eczema and will scratch until he leaves marks no matter what, soap, cream and lotions i have used, so on advice of the doctor, give him benedryl....now if i had to take a long flight with him, like if we were stationed overseas or visiting family, i don't see anything wrong with a dose of it. I know I know,...mothers who do this suck and should have their children taken away, your the better mother and love your child more, to the point where mom and dad would just have to say their goodbyes without you there hold their hands, but to each their own.



You don't know everyone's situation and you can't judge them..which yes, you are doing...the child will be ok if used according to the dr's orders and the instructions on the box...and i knew someone was not going to be able to resist, i actually smirked to myself when i read the other post and said someone is going to have a heart attack and get on their your a bad mom soapbox for this one...and taaa daaaa......

Kate CP - posted on 03/18/2010

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Herbal remedies are also not regulated by the FDA. And herbal remedies can be just as damaging as chemical medications. Where do you think the chemicals come from? Bella Donna is a natural sedative. It's also highly toxic. Vitamins also just don't work. The best way to ensure you get all your vitamins is to NOT take a supplement but to eat a healthy, varied diet. Just because it says "all natural" does NOT make is safer or better.

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Adrienne, I am curious how often you have flown with your children on a plane and what was your experience like?

Adrienne - posted on 03/18/2010

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First of all, I agree with you that drugging a child is drugging a child. I wouldn't use a natural sedation method on my son either. I only suggested the natural medications because the theory behind them is that they are less invasive and harmful to a child's system. That though, is a whole other debate.



While I am not totally against western medicine, I believe it is GROSSLY overused and will always try a holistic medication before a chemical one. I am very grateful to western for antibiotics and surgical procedures but would rather give my child a homeopathic for example, for a fever than children's tylenol because it herbal, and put here by god (god in general, not a specified religous view) than created by chemists. In my experience, those remedies are also more effective when used correctly and don't come along with a bunch of fillers along with the helpful meds.

Kate CP - posted on 03/18/2010

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Adrienne: drugging a child is drugging a child. What's the difference between herbal and prescription medication? One isn't as strong as the other? So, then it wouldn't work as well, right? One is "natural"? Well, aspirin is natural-it's made from willow bark! But it's still a medication. Drugging a kid is drugging a kid. Period.

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