Safe age for infants to fly

Medicine and other human performance related issues.

Moderator: Moderators

Erik1
Wanna Fly
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:00 pm
Closest Airfield: FASC
Location: Secunda
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by Erik1 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:03 pm

Good evening, from what age can babies fly and is there any precautions to consider? Would appreciate any advice.
fcvanwyk
Lining Up
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:56 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGC
Location: Johannesburg
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by fcvanwyk » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:02 pm

Hi Eric,
More detail would be helpful...if u are asking when can baby start a pilots licence then its easy.... but whether GA or airline, short or long haul, etc...?
We flew with a 4 month old to the UK a few years ago. Airliners have seats with basinets... baby can lie flat and sleep... until seatbelts signs come on and then u have the joy of picking up sleeping now awake and screaming baby and putting on your lap with baby seatbelt attached to yours... so not fun but no physical reason not to fly with an infant a few months old. On climb and descent you will want to have baby sucking to help ear pressures. For exact age an infant can fly u need to check with the airline u are flying with...2 weeks seems to be reasonable.
User avatar
Alan Robertson
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 768
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:48 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGC or front garden
Has liked: 18 times
Been liked: 15 times

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by Alan Robertson » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:12 pm

Erik1 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:03 pm
Good evening, from what age can babies fly and is there any precautions to consider? Would appreciate any advice.
My view is they need to be able to reach all the controls and be fairly co-ordinated. Otherwise not worth taking the risk.
Erik1
Wanna Fly
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:00 pm
Closest Airfield: FASC
Location: Secunda
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by Erik1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:15 pm

My question is related to GA flying in a non-pressurized cabin. My baby is 3 months old and I am just concerned about his ears. Gradually descend came up a few times. I have a 3h flight that I have to do so just making sure if he would be fine. Is there any problems regarding the noise or is it only the difference in pressure?

Thanks for the advice
User avatar
Alan Robertson
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 768
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:48 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGC or front garden
Has liked: 18 times
Been liked: 15 times

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by Alan Robertson » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:28 pm

Erik1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:15 pm
My question is related to GA flying in a non-pressurized cabin. My baby is 3 months old and I am just concerned about his ears. Gradually descend came up a few times. I have a 3h flight that I have to do so just making sure if he would be fine. Is there any problems regarding the noise or is it only the difference in pressure?

Thanks for the advice
Hi Erik

Whilst I haven't flown with a 3 month old, I have flown with my little girl from when she was tiny: helicopter, 1 hour duration, and probably not as high as fixed wing.

Really no problems at all and within minutes she was sound asleep.

Regards

Alan
fcvanwyk
Lining Up
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:56 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGC
Location: Johannesburg
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by fcvanwyk » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:36 pm

Erik, do not fly with your son if your son is ill or has a cold. I would keep to about 8000ft or below if possible, have someone to look after baby and have them suck on bottle ot breast on climb and descent. Yes do a gradual descent... a longer flight is thought to be easier on the ear pressures than a short one. Not sure how noisy your cockpit is but hearing protection is sensible. For this you could do plugs from the pharmacy with a type of swimming headband to hold them in, you could buy kiddy ear mufflers of you could have custom earplugs made at any audiologist. Enjoy the flight!
P.S. Consider the above general medical information and not medical advice.
User avatar
Mrb13676
Helicopter getting close
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:20 pm
Closest Airfield: FASY
Location: Zone outbound
Has liked: 30 times
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by Mrb13676 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:59 am

I'd add to what @fcvanwyk said to say that even with all those protections, you should be aware of your climb/descent rates - I'd avoid any higher than 300-400fpm as the eustachian tubes are not extremely well developed at that age, they don't know how to equalise either!

It may be a good idea to have a bottle for the descent (or breastfeeding if that's what you are doing) as the swallowing action does assist with equalisation. If you are concerned that they might have some pain then it may also be worth loading up some panado/calpol syrup 30min before descent. But definitely do not fly with the infant if there is ANY suggestion of congestion...

Enjoy!
Mike Blackburn
ZU-IBM - Sling4 Turbo
User avatar
andrem
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:22 pm
Closest Airfield: FAPX and FYSM
Location: Jeffreys Bay & Swakopmund
Has liked: 5 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by andrem » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:30 pm

Erik1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:15 pm
My question is related to GA flying in a non-pressurized cabin. My baby is 3 months old and I am just concerned about his ears. Gradually descend came up a few times. I have a 3h flight that I have to do so just making sure if he would be fine. Is there any problems regarding the noise or is it only the difference in pressure?

Thanks for the advice
We regularly flew around Namibia after my daughter turned 4 months. She'd fall asleep during run-ups and wake up on the descent, regardless the legth of the flight (from Windhoek we flew to Erindi, Wolwedans, Swakopmund, etc.) at least once a month.

Breastfeeding on descent is something we tried not to do, as she was in her own baby seat next to my wife in the back and we didn't want to take her out of the safety belt. We used a bottle of formula or water for the descent, as that is the only time she was be niggly.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
User avatar
andrem
1k poster
1k poster
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:22 pm
Closest Airfield: FAPX and FYSM
Location: Jeffreys Bay & Swakopmund
Has liked: 5 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by andrem » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:31 pm

andrem wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:30 pm
Erik1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:15 pm
My question is related to GA flying in a non-pressurized cabin. My baby is 3 months old and I am just concerned about his ears. Gradually descend came up a few times. I have a 3h flight that I have to do so just making sure if he would be fine. Is there any problems regarding the noise or is it only the difference in pressure?

Thanks for the advice
We regularly flew around Namibia after my daughter turned 4 months. She'd fall asleep during run-ups and wake up on the descent, regardless the legth of the flight (from Windhoek we flew to Erindi, Wolwedans, Swakopmund, etc.) at least once a month.

Breastfeeding on descent is something we tried not to do, as she was in her own baby seat next to my wife in the back and we didn't want to take her out of the safety belt. We used a bottle of formula or water for the descent, as that is the only time she was be niggly.

She had her own set of headphones with music playing on it, not connected to the intercom.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Erik1
Wanna Fly
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:00 pm
Closest Airfield: FASC
Location: Secunda
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Safe age for infants to fly

Unread post by Erik1 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:52 pm

Thanks for everyone’s advice. Found a few answers that I was looking for!

Return to “Aviation medical and related issues”