View Full Version : Best thing to bring on airplane for kids to help ears pop?

09-06-2007, 12:53 PM
Hello all you other moms out there :goodvibes I was wondering what works best on airplanes to help decompress the kids ears during take-off and landing. I am worried about them getting an earache. i had heard you can buy drinks in the airport (ie juice etc) after you go through security and you and take it on the plane. Can anyone tell me if this is true or what you opted to bring?

thanks in advance:flower3:


09-06-2007, 12:59 PM
Basically, you just need anything that will make them swallow. You don't mention how old your kids are, but if they are old enough, gum, lifesavers or some other type of candy that will promote swallowing will work. If they aren't old enough for this kind of thing, any beverage will serve the same purpose. You can buy beverages anytime after you pass security in the airport (or bring a cup or waterbottle and fill from the water fountain). For the youngest babies, a pacifier, bottle or nursing will help as well.

09-06-2007, 01:04 PM
I'm not a mom, but gum, suckers, or ice chips have always worked for me. Like the PP said, something to swallow is what helps. And you use to be able to get a glass of ice chips pretty much as soon as you were on the plane.

09-06-2007, 02:06 PM
This is from http://flyingwithchildren.blogspot.com/ which is written by a former FA of 13yrs who flies frequently with her 3 kids:

Many parents are concerned about ears. I'll say right away that I think ear problems are vastly overrated. I simply didn't see that many problems when I was working and I worked mainly long-haul international trips at high altitudes. Crying actually helps their ears, which is what a baby would automatically do if bothered.

I take my kids to the pediatrician within a week of leaving. Some parents will actually remove their children from school or daycare right before leaving because of any number of bugs. I was actually advised to do so by our doctor once due to a stomach flu that was going around once in my daughter's daycare. I think, though, these measures are extreme but you're the parent...

Problems with ears are still the most common complaint. Most of the time they occur during descent, not take-off (or landing for that matter). I've been made aware of a number of new products, types of new earplugs. Get your pediatrician to give you the okay on anything you're going to try before bringing it onboard. I would still warn that just because your child didn't have problems, doesn't mean whatever you did or used worked. The opposite logic can also be applied!

Every article on flying says to make sure they have something to suck on during these times. Okay advice but if the child falls asleep, the parents have to debate waking them and that's not actually when this advice should be applied. Pressurization doesn't happen exclusively at these times. It's a slower process. If you've brought a carseat, this is not a reason for removing the child from it during these most dangerous moments of the flight. You can easily breastfeed or wait till the child stirs to give him something during ascent or descent. The plane takes awhile to reach "cruising altitude".

Do try to wake your little ones about an hour before landing. This is a good excuse to do a lav run, diaper change or simple wash-up. The worst time for ears starts around this time and people actually feel better when 10,000ft (3,000 meters) is reached. The is considered the "final descent" when the no smoking sign was turned on. Now you'll know as it's when everything should be stowed and the F/A's are closing up the galley. We weren't timing things too well when non-smoking flights began! The reason for waking children is if they're moving around, they're less likely to have ear problems. Older children will be able to tell you if something isn't right. Getting back to the sucking on landing advice, it would simply be too little, too late. Tackle it, if it arises, in that last hour (less for a shorter flight).

I have found personally that w/my ds the only time the ear issue has been a problem was one time when he had a head cold. He has flown numerous times now and overall w/all the layovers, he's probably been thru 15+ take offs and landings.


09-06-2007, 04:57 PM
I've got tiny ear canals (like a childs) and my ears HURT when we are descending. What I use: the totally unhealthy but I only buy it for airplanes Bubbalicious Bubble Gum. Its really juicy so I guess I swallow a lot.

09-06-2007, 06:39 PM
What I do with my kids who are now 10 and 3 is when I notice my ears feeling the pressure, I tell the kids to yawn. When the kids were little I used a sippy cup and/or pacifier during take off and landing. The FA's were kind to fill the sippy cup with water for me.

09-06-2007, 06:44 PM
A bottle of water with a sport/sip cap, so that you have to suck on it a bit to get it dispensed. The swallowing helps the ears, and the water helps the dehydration you get on a plane, because of the zero humidity in cabin air.

09-06-2007, 06:45 PM
I brought fruit snacks for my dd to eat and i let her drink. On the way home, I didn't bother with either, and she was fine. I figured she would tell me if she was in pain, which she was not.

09-06-2007, 07:19 PM
I won't fly w/out EarPlanes. I have excrutiating ear pain both during take off and landing. My sister also suffers from this. I take them for DD whenever we fly. Out of the 6 times she's flown, she didn't need them 1 time (but she chomped on Bubblicious the whole time). FYI. Found out the hard way that Orlando Intl Airport does not sell any type of gum. Had to make due w/Skittles & chewy LifeSavers instead. So, take plenty of gum w/you.
Yes, you can buy drinks once you get through security. We always go early & get a bite to eat and a drink. Good luck.

09-06-2007, 07:22 PM
My kids complain about their ears on planes so I bought EarPlanes. They are a little pricey, for tiny pieces of plastic, but my kids say they work.

09-06-2007, 07:54 PM
okay thanks fora all the reponses. I think I will bring all of the above just to be on the safe side. I am going to do a yahoo search on earplanes now as i have never heard of these. We have flown one other time and I just wanted to see if there were any sure fire things that worked.

My kids are only 3 and 5 so I dont' know if they're quite old enough for gum...but the drinks with the spout on the end sound like a good idea...all good ideas really but I think filling that with juice would be kind of fun for them to drink. And we'll be bringing the fruit snacks too...my kids are prone to cavities but LOVE those things so I will make an exception for this.

thanks again...you have been a great help to an overly nervous neurotic mommy ;)

09-06-2007, 08:12 PM
I cannot say enough GREAT things about Earplanes.

1. You can purchase them at Walmart or online - just do a search on yahoo or google for them. Drugstore.com has children and adult sizes.

2. I swear by these little pieces of plastic. But they are so much for than just little pieces of plastic. They are specially constructed tubes that stablize the pressure between your inner ear and the airplane cabin. They fit in your ears like ear plugs and do not hurt. You almost forget you have them in.

3. I have flown for years and always had problems with my ears stopping up and staying that way for a day or two (even after I got off the plane). Earplanes are a life saver for me and I have not had any problems since I started using them 5 years ago.

4. I first read about them on a baby/child product website and bought a pair for my daughter to use. After reading the instructions and doing some research (I am an engineer and love to know how things work) - it made perfect sense to me and I bought a pair for myself.

Taking a plane flight now is enjoyable for me and I do not suffer any pain or conjestion in my ears. And my daughter has never complained about ear pain or her ears being stopped up. We use them on every single time we fly.

I absolutely endorse this product!

:yay: :yay: :yay:

09-06-2007, 08:28 PM
Lollipops...dum dums in particular. For the longest time my DS couldn't chew gum for more then a minute without swallowing it, so I wouldn't let him have it at all. Dum Dums did the trick...he chews gum well now...and even blows bubbles!

09-06-2007, 08:38 PM
I agree with all the previous posters but with one warning about the earplanes. My sons ears do bother them on descent and one of them decided to use the earplanes I had purchased for them. Within about 5 minutes he started complaining that his stomach was upset and that he thought he might throw up. I don't know what made me do it but I took the earplnes out of his ears and his nausea cleared almost immediatley. I have heard of a few others with this side effect even though by and large most do not get it. Just something to look out for.

One other thing I do is make sure that they have taken a decongestant at an appropriate time that it should be in full effect during descent. As they are often somewhat congested due to allergies this helps them a lot. I am not sure if some of it is psychological with him but I say whatever works!!

09-06-2007, 08:41 PM
We do water from a sports top type water bottle. You can bring your own empty and fill it after security or just buy after security. Even though my kids are "old enough" for gum they prefer starbursts or gummy snacks. They are chewy enough but have enough "liquid" to cause lots of swallowing which helps the ears. They are also something not allowed on a regular basis so its a fun treat too!

Like a pp post said most healthy kids won't have issues and will naturally know what to do if they do have some pressure.


09-06-2007, 10:07 PM
FYI. Found out the hard way that Orlando Intl Airport does not sell any type of gum. Had to make due w/Skittles & chewy LifeSavers instead. So, take plenty of gum w/you.

:sad2: Yep! The one time I don't bring my bubbalicous I find out the hard way.

09-06-2007, 10:35 PM
My friend, who's husband is a pilot for Delta, swears that lollipops are the ultimate answer for young children (funny--she doesn't allow her children to have sugar--but she has her 13 month old suck on the lollipop during takeoff, then takes it away, and then allows it again during landing, then throws it away!!! LOL!!!)