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9 Tips To Keep Your Kids Healthy On A Plane

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health coverage, highlights nine tips to keep your kids healthy on a plane.


“There’s no better way to put your body’s immune system to the test than by subjecting it to air travel,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“With their enclosed spaces, recirculated air, and never-ending streams of people, airports and planes are ideal breeding grounds for germs. Unfortunately, children are the ones who are most likely to come into touch with viruses. High elevations can also tire the body, weakening immune defences.”

Here are nine tips for flying safety for you and your children:

1. Immunisations Are Key

Confirm with your child’s doctor that they have received all age-appropriate immunisations. Getting an influenza vaccine is essential for anyone six months or older.

2. Prepare for International Travel

When travelling abroad, obtain destination-specific immunisations and pre-exposure counselling to protect your children from infectious pathogens. Consider purchasing additional health insurance for international travel.


3. Stay Hydrated

Air travel can put children at risk for minor dehydration symptoms like headaches and dizziness. Inadequate fluid intake can also impair short-term memory, concentration, and mood. Keep your children hydrated throughout the journey with bottled water.


4. Avoid Aisle Seats

Norovirus alert! Aisle seats are high-touch zones for passengers boarding planes, making them more susceptible to infectious pathogens. Norovirus is highly contagious; even a few virus particles can infect someone. Avoid the aisle seats and the risk associated with them.


5. Pack Sanitising Supplies

Bring alcohol wipes and hand sanitiser with you. Clean tray tables and other non-porous surfaces as soon as you arrive at your seat. These surfaces, such as armrests, seat pockets, windows, overhead bins, taps, sinks, and toilet handles, are prone to infection. Dispose of used wipes in your seat’s air sickness bag and sanitise your hands afterwards.


6. Skip the Seat Pocket

Avoid placing items in the pocket in front of your seat. Passengers often use these pockets to store trash; they are made of cloth and cannot be easily cleaned with wipes.


7. Nappy Changing on Board

If you have a baby or toddler, be prepared to change dirty nappies on the plane. Most flights have a changing table against the toilet wall. Use a disposable liner on the changing mat, have nappies and wipes ready, and clean the surface with an alcohol wipe.


8. Beware of Seasonal Influenza

Seasonal influenza is common among young travellers. Avoid seating your child near someone displaying respiratory symptoms, and switch seats if necessary. If you can’t move your child, use the overhead vent to deflect airflow from their face.


9. Combat Ear Discomfort

Ear discomfort often occurs during descent when the plane changes air pressure. Encourage your child to drink, chew gum, or use a pacifier to equalise ear pressure during the descent.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health coverage provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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