Using a CARES Flight Harness for Children with Special Needs

December 6th, 2011 No comments

Travelling with children is difficult enough at the best of times. If your child has a disability it can be very stressful and making your child secure on the flight is of primary importance. If your child requires a hauling brace to provide upper body support in an airplane seat, you know what a hassle it is to make arrangements months in advance with the airline. And you have to do it again before each subsequent trip! Check with your child’s doctor or physical therapist to determine if the CARES child aviation restraint provides sufficient upper body support for your child. If it does – no more having to make arrangement weeks or months in advance with airlines because CARES is already certified for children 10 – 20 kilos for all phases of flight. So, just book your flight, carry your 500gram CARES on board in your pocket or purse, install it on any seat in one minute. And know that your child is secure for taxiing, take off, turbulence and landing.
The other Harnesses available are the Crelling Harness, The Burnett Upper Body Support and the Travel Chair you may like to look at all of these before making the decision as to which is best for your child.
If so, and if CARES provides sufficient upper body support (check with your physical therapist or doctor) you can still use CARES.

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Travelling Alone With Children

November 21st, 2011 No comments

It’s a daunting thought travelling with children alone especially on a long trip because even the easiest of children get bored and frustrated. While I am not an expert on this subject I can definitely say that my children are. I have 3 children, 2 girls and 1 boy and they all have children of their own now. In the past 8 months my grandchildren have had 4 return trips to Italy and 3 return trips to New Zealand and Australia with only one of their parents. (in the case of my son it was my daughter in law who made the trips).
The ages of the children are four; three and 17 months old, it is no mean feat travelling abroad with children at any of those ages. Hopefully I can get them to blog about their experiences at a later time. In the meantime I have done research on your behalf to bring you some dos and don’ts when travelling alone with children abroad.

The object of course is to get to the other end of your journey without completely losing your sanity. Generally in our experience the airline staff are very helpful and accommodating. If you are travelling with a baby you often can get the seats at the bulkhead (usually in the middle of the plane) it is sometimes easier because they have bassinets that you can put the baby in while in flight. This gives you free hands and possibly a more comfortable position to try and get 40 winks. Not all airlines reserve these for babies and they tend to sell these seats at an extra cost these days. However there is a downside to these seats as they are right next to the toilet. So if you are on a long haul flight, people are up and down during the night and if your baby is a light sleeper you are in trouble bassinet or no bassinet. Also if you are breastfeeding it is probably the most public place on the plane.

Helpful Products

There are products available that can make your journey easier, the Flyebaby baby hammock, in which you can put your child (4 -7 months), giving you eye to eye contact and a free pair of hands. If you are travelling with a child in between 2 -5 years old and they have their own seat, a CARES Flight Harness is a must particularly if you have a child that will not stay in its seat or keep their seat belt on. As children are very used to being strapped into a car seat it is a familiar feeling to be strapped into the CARES Harness as it keeps them in a position they are accustomed to. A survey on Trip Advisor asking what flyers hated the most – the top score went to children kicking the back of the seat, a CARES Harness prevents this most annoying practice.

Keeping the Children Entertained

My girls have always collected new toys for the children to play with when they get on the plane (just little things), of course they may have their favourite toys/ bear/ doll and they are certainly needed, but new toys provide a new experience and by dishing them out slowly one at a time it can keep them occupied for a few hours especially if you wrap them. You can always put the proviso in that if they are good for an hour, then they will get another one. You’ll be surprised how well behaved they will be.
It also is easier if you have a bag especially for toys and food snacks. Preferably get a bag that has at least 2 compartments in it and perhaps a couple of pockets. Given the space between you and the seat in front, it is very difficult to keep bending down searching for something in a bag when you are not quite sure where in the bag it is, so you have to pull all the top things out first and rummage around in a very tight space…….. You get the picture!!
Personal DVD players are great for children upwards of 2 ½. On long haul flights there is in-flight entertainment but the odds are they will not be playing Peppa Pig or Dora the Explorer, or whatever your child’s favourite DVD is, the one they can play over and over again without getting bored. Of course if you are going to get a Personal DVD player do not forget the headphones. Do not forget that often a smaller child cannot always see the video on the back of the chair.
If possible when travelling on a long haul flight try to get a night flight, this way the children/babies sleep at their normal time. If you can stick to a normal sleeping pattern while travelling it minimises the problem of jet lag at the other end.

Stop Over’s

Even if your child has got past the pushchair stage, if you are stopping over for quite a few hours it might be helpful to take a pushchair. If they are tired they can have a nap in the pushchair, and it is also easier for you to get around.

Food and Snacks
A word about snacks, do not rely on aeroplane food for your child. The chances are they won’t like it or it comes at a time when they don’t feel like eating. Don’t get concerned if they aren’t eating what you may term as a proper meal during the flight, it doesn’t matter. Make sure they have plenty of water/milk and snacks they enjoy but leave the messy ones at home, you do not want to be trying to pick up bits of squashed banana off the floor and /or clothes. Wet wipes are a must but don’t take the big packet with you in your hand luggage they are quite heavy. Try and buy a smaller travel pack, even a couple of travel packs are better than a large at home pack. Most countries sell wet wipes you can always buy some more when you get there.
Remember on short haul flights you usually have aircraft stairs to walk down and up. You would normally hold your child’s hand and if you have hand luggage for both of you it is more than a little tricky. It may be worth checking in luggage rather than over load on hand luggage.

Sleep Medication

Now here is a controversial subject which some people will feel very strongly about. So I am not going to express an opinion one way or the other, only to say if you decide to go down that route I suggest you try the medication at home first as a medicine like Phenegan which is widely used apparently can make 15% of the children who take it hypoactive – not good on a long haul flight!!

Getting Through Security

In most countries you are generally asked to remove the baby from the pushchair going through security, some airport staff are helpful some are not. Do not let them fluster you, but be as prepared as you can be before you go through. Leave what you have in the buggy basket if the buggy will still fold. Put your coats in the trays first, and then your hand luggage (hopefully you will have already put any loose items away in the bag). Now take the baby or toddler out of the buggy. If the baby is happy to go to someone else hand the baby to airport staff, if not hold the baby if you cannot fold the buggy with one hand ask for help. Often a person behind you will offer to help if the airport staff are not forthcoming with assistance.
Go through the X-ray machine and immediately get the buggy off first and put your child in. Then retrieve your clothes and hand luggage.

If the child’s surname is different from yours

Normally this is not a problem and I cannot count how many times I have been through passport control with the girls and the children (who both have different names than their mothers) and no one has taken any notice at all; however the UK law says:
It is a crime for anyone ‘connected with a child’ under 16 to take or send that child out of the UK without ‘appropriate consent’. This is set out in the Child Abduction Act 1984.
To explain:
• the people ‘connected with a child’ are the child’s parents, guardians and people with a residence order or who have parental responsibility
• ‘appropriate consent’ is the consent of the mother, the father (if he has parental responsibility), the guardian and anyone with a residence order or parental responsibility, or the leave (permission) of the court
Fathers and parental responsibility
In general, a child’s father has automatic parental responsibility only if he is, or has been, married to the child’s mother. However, a father also has parental responsibility if he jointly registered the birth with the child’s mother on or after:
• 15 April 2002 in Northern Ireland
• 1 December 2003 in England and Wales
• 4 May 2006 in Scotland
I therefore think that just to be on the safe side it is best to have a letter from the non travelling parent. In the US they require that the letter be notarised (meaning counter signed by a notary/ justice of the peace/lawyer/bank manager). Of course do not forget that even a newborn in the UK needs its own passport.
As grandparents we took our granddaughter Scarlett to Italy one Christmas while her parents came later. We had all documents and photographic ID but not once were we asked for anything.
A note on other countries
Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Canada, and the Dominican Republic— require parents travelling alone with children to carry a notarised document sometimes for that trip alone not a generic letter covering many trips—no matter whether the parents are married, divorced, or never married. Sometimes other documents are also required such as a birth certificate showing names of the parents. Parents granted sole legal custody of children need to show notarised proof of that status. These rules apply to grandparent, too.

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Me Finder – Essential for travelling with children

November 17th, 2011 No comments

The new Me Finder -award winning children’s product essential when travelling with children

Have you ever lost your child, it is the most terrible feeling in the world, you think you are going to be sick, that your heart will stop, you are going to collapse all those really ghastly feelings.

Children do go missing usually just for a short time whether you are shopping, at the beach, at a fun park the list is endless. You want to find your child quickly that is the only thought in your head – well here is the perfect solution that allows you to have peace of mind.

A wristband that has phone numbers already programmed in, looks like a watch and is fun to wear. No sooner than you lose sight of your child and your mobile will be ringing with a safe adult on the other end. Brought to us by who have a great web site that gives you loads of information on Child Safety. Can also be purchased from

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easyJet Family Friendly airline

November 8th, 2011 1 comment

On easyJets web site hidden under the very small Help icon > Children and Infants. There is a headline proclaiming that easyJet is embracing a ‘Family Friendly Scheme’. They are looking for ways ‘to make travelling easy and affordable for family travellers’. Now there is a thought – flying budget airlines is like taking a bus and let’s face it we know how difficult it is trying to get a family of 4 on a bus. As a single traveller it is really not a problem there is always a single seat left so you can board last if you feel inclined. But with children it is a different matter – credit to easyJet unlike another budget airline at least families get priority boarding at no extra cost. So what else can they offer parents travelling with children and babies – we will have to wait and see what they have in mind watch this space and I will keep you informed.

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Ban on smoking whilst travelling with children

October 26th, 2011 No comments

Almost all Australian states have now instituted a law prohibiting smoking in cars where there are children travelling under 16 years old. The only State left to make this law is The Northern Territory.

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My Travelling with Children Blog

October 21st, 2011 No comments

When I started this blog I was not sure where it was going, I had read loads about Blogs so thought well lets get it started and see where it takes me. Then I thought it was a good place to post my articles that I had previously posted within the web site – where probably no one was seeing them! So here I am posting an article a week, hoping that someone will read them all written about the same subject – travelling with Children, then it occurs to me that I sit everyday reading news articles about travelling with children ( inspiration for my articles) and some of them are rather interesting so why don’t I share this with my blog readers if there are any out there……..

Therefore, any tip bits of news regarding travelling with children or travelling with babies I shall be sharing with you on my blog, and if I can work it out I may even Tweet it!!!!!!!

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New lanes make it easier travelling with Children

October 19th, 2011 No comments

Queuing in the customs hall at Gatwick is the last thing anyone wants to do after a long flight, but it looks like our woes may be over, according to Wednesdays issue of Travel News UK Gatwick is investing £45m in new security areas and have promised passengers speedier passage through the airport, cutting process times to just under five minutes.
Passengers with reduced mobility and families with young children will have two dedicated lanes, and passengers travelling first class or business will have two ‘premium’ lanes. Great if you are one of the above!!

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4 Good Reasons for using a Snack and Play Tray while travelling

October 15th, 2011 No comments

The Snack and Play is the perfect accessory to have on hand in your camper van or stashed in your tent. It provides a variety of uses to ease your kids’ camping experiences.

You can use the tray:

- As a make-shift multi-use table or smooth surface
- As a lap desk for doing crossword puzzles or work (although you should be taking a break, you’re on holiday !)
- As a tray for serving kids snacks and meals around the campfire
- As it was first intended to be used – to keep your children entertained in the car on the way to your destination. It’s great for keeping those toy cars and crayons in place during the long drive!

Car Sickness in Toddlers ( and adults)

August 20th, 2011 2 comments

I think most of us go through life with the odd – I feel a bit sick in the back of the car. But have a thought for those of us who have suffered with it all their lives like me, my daughter and now my granddaughter. (It is hereditary you know). My father always drove the car so it wasn’t an issue for him, however I remember a time when he was sitting in a boat still tied up to the dock, and my poor dad being seasick over the side.
Many years ago when I was a child I clearly remember being in the car going over a long and winding hill moaning I want to be sick, I want to be sick, my mother saying we are almost there just hang on, which being an obedient child I did. We parked the car by a river ( seemed to take ages to find the right spot) and my mother got out the picnic blanket and laid it down on the ground. At this point I felt it the right time to ask the question again – can I be sick now? To which offhandedly she said yes not even bothering to look at me, and not moving an inch I was promptly sick all over the picnic blanket.
She even took me to the doctor it was so bad – middle ear he said, didn’t feel the need to elaborate it was the 60’s doctors were Gods, nothing to be done. Now I know that it is the eyes and the ears getting conflicting clues as to how fast and in what direct the body is moving.
So… then it was my daughters turn and now it was the 70’s. Of course her being sick in the car didn’t exactly go well with my problems of being sick so my husband had to do the clean job sometimes for both of us, and there was still no remedy available for toddlers.
It is common for motion sickness to stop by the time you are 12 years old, but that wasn’t the case in our family.
So now it is the 21st century and my poor granddaughter suffers the same fate and while there is still no real remedy for toddlers we have learnt alot. We have learnt more about things that can be done to make life easier when travelling, and in some cases avoid the sickness altogether.
I am going to share with you my research and hopefully if this affliction effects your little ones it may be of some help and therefore travelling with children can become a little more pleasant.
Some children get it unexpectedly having not be affected with it before, so be prepared with a towel or bag and keep a bottle of drinking water in the car, especially if you have suffered with it the odds are it will affect your child at some time.
• Drive slowly on winding roads
• Keep the car at a comfortable temperature
• Fresh air is good – try to have a window open
• Do not let them read or watch DVD’s
• Sing and/or listen to music
• Try and travel at night while they sleep
• Get them to look towards the horizon if possible, staring straight ahead
• Do not give them a heavy meal before they travel offer light snacks and or fruit – bananas and apples are good. Ginger biscuits can help, also peppermint
• Do not smoke in the car
• Turn the air vents to their face
• Stop frequently and let the child out of the car to walk around a little

Not every child responds to the same remedy and it is trial and error to see what works best.
For older children and adults there are a number of travel sickness remedies, tablets and wristbands which seem to work very well.
Hints for other types of motion sickness
• Avoid greasy meals and alcohol 24 hours before you fly
• Just have light snacks and plain water
• Sit towards the front or close to the wing

• Try to get a cabin on one of the upper decks
• If on deck keep eyes fixed on the horizon or a piece of land if visible
• Do not eat a heavy meal
• If on deck where others are being ill make sure you are not downwind of them ( easy mistake to make when rushing to the side of the boat)

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Diary Of a 30 Hour Flight – Without Drugs

May 31st, 2010 No comments

What you will gradually learn about me through my blog is that I do like the
easy option, whether this be paracetamol at the first twinge of a headache,
lemsip for a sniffle or milk being delivered to the door even though there is a
shop across the road (supporting the local milkman of course). So, bearing this
in mind I have to ask myself how on earth am I going cope on a 30 hour flight
Down Under with a 2/12 year old daughter and a 35 year old partner whose
attention and boredom levels are roughly the same, added to that we have a
wedding to go to the day after arrival!

I have researched everything that will make the flight easier, from
meditation/yoga techniques for the family, to drugs – for the family. I have
decided there must be a balance, I dont particularly want to be ‘Omming’ cross
legged on the seat but nor do I want to take anti-histamines to comatose us all,
after all, long haul flights mean free food and I have never been one to decline
the offer of food, no matter how grey and uninviting it may look just because my
gross motor skills have been lost due to anti-histamine abuse.

Concern 1.

My inability to not care what people think. On a trip to Canada when Scarlett
was 5 months I found myself apologising for the simple fact that I was bringing
a baby on board, as it happened it turned out that this apology was well
warranted when half way through the 11 hour flight Scarlett had Diarrhea which leaked
through the nappy, onto our clothes then continued its way into the cracks in the
aeroplane seat – thus creating a stench that assaulted everybody’s sense of smell
within three rows of us.

As time goes by I am slightly hardening up and learning my sisters philosophy of
“I paid the same price for my seat as them, if they are child haters that’s there
problem”. In saying all this I have flown over 10 times with my daughter and
everyone has always been very lovely. The next flight may be a different story
as her legs are now within kicking distance of the chair in front…bring on the
harness – nevermind the safety aspect, give me restraint!!!!

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