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Should Parents Drug Their Kids On Flights?

From From Kaleel

Would you sedate your child on a flight? Are parents who do so wrong?
A Wall Street Journal article reported that many parents “drug” or sedate their kids on planes so they’ll be less bothersome for the parents, flight attendants and fellow passengers.

The “drug” of choice seems to be Benadryl, and while it does calm the kids, often putting them out for hours, it has awakened others to what might be an abusive practice.
The responses to an (and other) postings on the subject revealed that many parents give some sort of sedation to their children whenever they fly with them, while others said they never would, and that doing so is a failure in parenting, an inability to creatively help a child adjust to air travel.

The medical profession seems to have no solid opinion on the matter. Richard Gorman, past chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says his organization doesn’t have an actual position on the issue. “Good doctors can disagree about this,” he says, “just as good parents can.”
But pediatrician Vincent Iannelli point out some of the dangers of giving children Benadryl, including actually making kids more irritable and hyper, throwing them off their schedules and inducing an unpleasant grogginess. agrees, saying that kids can do just fine on planes if parents take the time to bring along the right distractions like toys, games, or DVDs.
It doesn’t help of course that pharmaceutical giant McNeil included children’s Benadryl in a recent recall.

Anyone who has ever flown with an inconsolable infant or child would understand why a parent would use medication”.
But some child behavior experts say the problem is less about fussy kids, and more about our collective lack of patience as a society.
Dr. Iannelli agrees.

He asks what if Benadryl doesn’t work? Would parents give their kids something stronger like Vallium?
He says the only reason to even consider giving a child a sedative is if the experience is too stressful for the child, not because of the discomfort of other people on the plane.
Maybe parents traveling with children should simply forget about what passengers think, and forgo the quick fix of a sedative..

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