We just came back from vacation. It was great to spend two weeks away from work and to wake up with the smell of ocean in the air. It was our first really "big" trip since we had our son in 2011 and it was his first time on an airplane. Before we left, I was a little worried about the flight, the changes in altitude, the humidity, the heat. Florida is a great place to be if you were born there. If you are a Colorado native , Florida is a little strange and hard to get used to. So I was worried about my little man, who has never been below 5000 feet of altitude, or on an airplane. I had to be prepared for everything that could possibly come my way.
My biggest concern was the flight. I have heard horror stories of kids crying in excruciating pain during take off and landing, from the pain in their ears; or of children roaming the plane and parents administering unnecessary dose after dose of children's Tylenol and Benadryl , just to keep the little beasts in their seats.
Needless to say, I turned to herbs and alternative methods of handling those situations, if they should arise.
Traveling can be stressful to a little body. The long hours of sitting in a tight space (car seat or an airplane seat), the change in altitude and climate, the time change, the humidity, and don't forget being around hundreds of people, who expose you to anything you can think of.
So, here is what I did to make sure that my family will stay healthy and happy during our trip, and may I add, mission was accomplished.
- Bach Rescue Remedy - This is one of the things I would recommend to everyone as part of their well-care remedy chest. I really like it because it is not a medicine. Edward Bach,was yet another medical doctor disappointed by the medical system who, in the early 1900s, created a series of 38 plant essences that focused on the patient mental state. They are often labeled "vibrational " medicine since they focus on the energetics of the plant/ flower. The Rescue Remedy series combines flower essences with homeopathy and herbs to bring whole body balancing. There is a designated kids series but if not available, I would not hesitate to use the adult version as well. I started giving my little guy a couple of doses of the Rescue Remedy drops for kids a couple of days before our trip and on the day of the actual trip he took a dose every couple of hours. This helped his body deal with the stress and he never got cranky or overstimulated. Stress reduces the ability of our immune systems to function properly and increases our chances of getting sick when exposed to viruses or bacteria. Bach's Rescue Remedy is non drowsy and very safe. It supports the natural function of your child's body without the exposure to chemicals or unnecessary medication.
- Echinacea Tincture - I've talked about Echinacea Tincture many times on this blog and I am not going to repeat it all here. This is something that I carry with me everywhere. It is part of my Herbal Health Care Kit and is my go to remedy when I notice the first symptoms of a cold. It is not something that should be taken as a preventative measure since it can overstimulate the immune system. It is a great "first responder" to any signs of a cold or the flu.
- Ginger Chews - Those are real life savers in our family. We are used to home cooked meals and snacks and that's why we prefer to drive and not fly. This way we can pack a cooler with our favorite things. Flying on the other hand comes hand in hand with packaged foods and snack. Our tummies were not happy as you can imagine.I really like to use The Ginger People brand for Ginger Chews. They alleviate any gas or stomach pain quickly and are delicious. They are a little spicy so if you give them to a child try a small piece first.
- Saline Spray or a Neti Pot - I have allergies to dust so staying in an enclosed , air-conditioned space all day is not an ideal situation for me. I do not use allergy medication or any other nasal spray. But I love my Neti Pot. It is a great way to flush away any allergens that you might inhale. With my almost 3 year old boy I use saline spray since he is not old enough to use the Neti pot. Air conditioned air is pretty dry and the air in the airplane has been recycled multiple times. Nasal irrigation is a great practice not only if you are traveling , but if you work in an office or other enclosed space. It helps flush any debris in the nasal passages and it moisten the mucous membranes so they can function properly..
Those are a few of the things that I always carry with me when we travel, even if it is a trip just a couple of hours away. There are also a few tricks you can learn and things you can pick up along the way that can serve the same purpose when you are in a situation with no access to these particular items. You can have your little one drink a cup of warm milk with honey. Not with syrup from the coffee shop,real honey. This is very relaxing and most kids do well with dairy while traveling. If you don't want dairy, you can rely on chamomile tea to calm you down and peppermint tea to soothe tummy trouble .
What tricks do you use when you travel with kids?