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Experts say you should never do this on a flight

Doctors issue warning: phenergan kids side-effects are real.

A long haul flight with a toddler is rarely easy. Once they start walking, toddlers have an insatiable curiosity that can not be confined to a small seat for 20 hours. The in-flight entertainment system is no help for a toddler with a desire to walk and walk constantly. Then imagine you have two children, or three or four to keep busy. 

Look on any online travel advice forum and you will find parents of toddlers desperate for advice. “What can I take to keep him busy on the plane?”. “How do I stop them from walking the aisles?” “How do I get them to sleep?”

The biggest question many parents of toddlers ask is: “Is it safe to drug them?”. 

Kids and flights

Could you handle twins on a long haul flight?

SO is it?

The answer, according to medical experts is NO. 

Sedative drugs, including antihistamines such as Phenergan, are unpredictable and we do not recommend them for children on plane trips, car trips,” a spokesperson for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead told Family Travel. 

“These drugs often have side effects that can trigger the exact opposite of sedation and can lead to hallucinations.

“These antihistamine medications should only ever be used for allergies.”

Phenergan is the most common sedative drug used by parents to calm kids on flights is. Many people also use Phenergan for flight anxiety. In 2015, a GIO survey also found one in five NSW families have their children medication to keep them quiet on long road trips.

Experts say the drug should not be used on children under two. In 2006 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified links between Phenergan and 22 cases of respiratory depression among infants. Seven of those cases were fatal. This is why the label states “caution should be applied when the medicine is given to children 2 years of age and older”.

Kids and flights

Backlash against mum who did it

In 2018 Shona Sibary told UK chat show This Morning that she regularly gives Phenergan to her four children to get through long-haul flights. 

“I am not embarrassed, I just don’t think it is fair when somebody else who has paid an absolute fortune for an economy flight seat why should they put up with a screaming child for 15 hours?” Shona told This Morning.

The backlash online was fierce. 

“Drug your child on a flight to help the passengers around you… Are you kidding me?!?!? I’ve been taking my kids on flights since they were 6 months and would never dream of drugging/sedating them for the sake of other passengers,” wrote one viewer on Facebook.

Clearly, the issue sparks fierce debate and parents can make up their own mind. But the experts are adamant the risks of using Phenergan for a flight with kids are too high. 


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