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Don’t Drug The Babies On Long-Haul Flights – Drug The Other Passengers

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airplane travel with kids and giving them drugs There is a “Hey! This is going to be really controversial!” piece on the Daily Fail this morning where a mother defends her decision to give her screaming children Phenergan Elixir, a sort of over-the-counter antihistamine, on airplane trips. And car trips. And trips to the corner market. And pediatrician. And zoo. OK, I’m lying about those last three but she may as well be saying that because this lady is very defensive about her decision to drug her kids so they don’t “bother” other people in public.

You can question my mothering skills if you want. You can call me selfish, irresponsible and foolhardy. But plenty of research has shown that what fellow travellers really despise more than crying children on planes are parents who do nothing about it. A poll by TripAdvisor found over a third of Britons would pay extra to travel in adults-only planes.

But why should they? We all know nothing raises the collective blood pressure among hundreds of strangers more than being stuck in a cramped space with a bawling baby or badly behaved toddler.

And while diversions and undivided parental attention can work up to a point, what is so wrong with a dose of something to make the whole process more bearable for everyone?

Should we wait to be reunited as a family until the children are old enough to sit still, without noise or fidgeting, for hour after tortuous hour?

This is where Phenergan Elixir comes in. Even the name holds the promise of something mystical happening.

For me, that’s having all my children conked out, so I can enjoy an in-flight movie and a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And even worse, the mom then goes on to describe how after drugging her children, ages
eight, six, and four, how one of them just couldn’t wake up after the plane had landed. After she put cold water on him, stood him on his feet, and blew in his face. Which sounds to me like she may have given him a bit much of this “magic elixir.” Plus, at this age, I find it even more disturbing that her kid was so badly behaved on an airplane she felt the need to give him the happy juice so they would stop “kicking the seat in front of him and flicking peanuts across the aisle.”

We all know it’s not fun traveling with an unhappy child on a plane, especially an infant. I think the majority of parents feel for the person trying to calm the baby and wish that there was something we could do to help. Most people realize it’s cabin pressure that causes babies to have issues, and any adult who has ever flown on a plane with allergies or a cold can sympathize how painful that can be. I really believe that most people feel sympathy for a crying child, and don’t feel a huge amount of anger towards them.

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