KIDS’ medicine should be kept in hand luggage on a flight in case they become ill during the journey, a new study suggests.
Most in-flight incidents involve common complaints that can be easily treated — but research has found airlines often don’t carry any treatments.
A team from Duke University in North Carolina crunched data regarding 75,000 medical incidents from 77 airlines on six continents between January 2015 and October 2016.
About 11,000 involved children and teenagers aged up to 19.
They found nausea and vomiting were the most common conditions, seen in a third of incidents.
This was followed by chills or fever in 22 per cent of them and acute allergic reactions in 5.5 per cent.
If you are a parent travelling with a child, we recommend you carry on the medications you think your child might need
Study chief Dr Alexandre Rotta
In about 16 per cent of cases, children needed extra care after landing, the Annals of Emergency Medicine study discovered.
But the team said the likelihood of an airline having an appropriate remedy on board for a child was unlikely.
Aircraft first aid kits often do contain asthma inhalers, antihistamines and aspirins.
Yet the medications tend to be pills, which many youngsters are unable to swallow, or they are in adult dosages.
What are parents allowed to take on a flight?
Essential medicine of more than 100ml.
This includes liquid dietary foods and inhalers as well as medical kit.
But you do need to have a doctor’s letter or a copy of the prescription with you.
Staff at security might need to open containers of course.
Tablets are also a;llowed,.
Airlines flying short haul are only required to carry a basic first aid kit, containing things like bandages and antiseptic wipes.
They do not have to carry items like asthma inhalers, antihistamines or adrenaline pens. So, while some do, if a child has asthma or an allergy, they should have their own devices with them.
But anyone who has a medical condition, or whose child does, can talk to their airline ahead of travelling if they have concerns.
And doctors suggest parents take “child-safe” doses of common medicines like liquid paracetamol for fevers, or rehydration salts for sickness and diarrhoea, so they know they have the right dose.
Study chief Dr Alexandre Rotta: “Parents should take precautions to avoid in-flight medical events when possible.
“For example, remember to carry your child’s medicine on to the plane rather than leaving it in checked baggage, since on-board emergency medical kits currently are not tailored to address issues most commonly experienced by paediatric travellers.
“Both airlines and parents should be aware of the most common illnesses and be prepared to deal with them.
“But for right now, if you are a parent travelling with a child, we recommend you carry on the medications you think your child might need.”