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anyone else horrified by the journalist who sedates her kids on long journeys?

(126 Posts)
Tanya86 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:50:34

i was really shocked by this. I have done many a long train journey when my son was a baby and toddler. He would cry and be noisy and want to run up and down the carriage. It would still never enter my head to sedate him and believe me the journeys were very stressful! I would be terrified and be watching every breath he took and probably end up more stressed as a result.

Many people seem to sedate their kids but it's certainly not for me!

MajaBiene Sun 14-Apr-13 10:17:36

My parents used to drug us with phenergan on 12 hour car journeys back in the late 80s/early 90s.

I always drug ds for any journey over about 30 minutes as otherwise he vomits everywhere. Sadly it doesn't seem to have a sedative effect on him.

LondonJax Sun 14-Apr-13 10:09:32

Sorry, that last bit came over a bit like teaching granny to suck eggs! What I meant was, it's always in our head to make the rules and stick to them etc and it works for us.

LondonJax Sun 14-Apr-13 10:04:06

Sorry, don't often post on here but I saw this thread and hope you don't mind me gatecrashing.

Maybe we're just lucky but we've been flying with our son (who's almost 6 years old now) since he was 6 weeks old. DH's family live in Scotland, we're based in London so flying was the quickest option. He's flown 3 -4 times a year to Scotland alone. The only time we've had a problem was when he was teething and the ear pressure got too much. We've been lucky enough to go to Austria, Lanzarote, Italy and Spain during that time too.

We time our flights to coincide with his sleep time whenever we can. We take a bag on board just for him and fill it with books, toys (like small cars, nothing noisy as it'd drive me insane!) and food and we never take everything out at once. One of us will walk him up the aisle a couple of times and before the flight we walk or run him around the airport to let him let off steam. You'll sometimes literally see one of us running the little fella up and down in the airport lounge! Seems to get it out of his system!

When he was almost four years old we inherited a little cash and used it on a once in a lifetime holiday (before he started school and we were limited to school holiday times). We went to Hawaii (a 13 hour flight), Australia and New Zealand for a total of 6 weeks. He had to fly from London to Los Angeles, next day to Hawaii. A week later off to Australia (via New Zealand), then after five days, back to New Zealand for the remainder of the holiday. Then the 27 hours home (stop off for a couple of hours in Hong Kong airport). We spent almost as much time getting the right timing on flights as we did on the holiday itself - again trying to get local time evening flights when we knew he'd sleep (though the Los Angeles flight saw him awake for 20 hours!)

He discovered the kids channel on the TV (hooray) so we had an hour or two's peace every so often.

The people behind us stopped me as we were getting off the 27 hour flight home and my heart sank. "Your boy was better behaved than some of the adults" said the woman. I felt so proud!

The point is, as he's never been given anything and we've worked out what works for him because he's been his usual self not sedated in any way. He now sees plane travel just like any other form of transport. He understands how he should behave because we've taught him and he's been awake enough to take it on board. If you give sedatives to your kids, at what stage do you test the water to see if they can behave? At what stage do they learn? It's like saying I won't take my kids out for a meal until they're older. They'll still won't understand the 'rules' about eating out because they've never experienced it. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet. You won't get it right first time but you soon learn what works for you and, more importantly, for the kids.

By the way, to add to the mix, we were in the centre of Christchurch on our last day of holiday in New Zealand when the earthquake struck. We ran our boy through the streets with glass showering on us and cracks opening in the pavement near us. All night we had aftershocks (every 40-60 minutes) and the airport had damage to ceilings, had people being flown home by the Red Cross so were 'walking wounded' and in shock and the airport had aftershocks too. We were all holding our breath as the plane took off in case another quake struck as we were taxi-ing. And still our boy didn't howl about the plane, run up and down or kick the back of the chair in front. He knows the rules, they make him feel safe so we stuck to them even after all that and it helped him settle. Make the rules and stick to them, no concessions, no changes and the child knows what is expected and, more importantly, what to expect.

LtEveDallas Sun 14-Apr-13 07:19:04

I remember dosing myself up with Night Nurse tablets before my first ever long haul flight. Oh my God what a mistake that was, if never felt so sick, dizzy and out of sorts. It was awful and it took at least 24 hours to go back to feeling normal again.

For that reason I wouldn't dose up the incredible-non-sleeping DD, in case she has the same rotten time of it that I did.

nooka Sun 14-Apr-13 07:10:48

I remember some cold medicine that we used when ds was tiny (and had nasty colds that really bothered him as a thumb sucker) having the side effect of making him very sleepy. Never used it for that purpose, but I remember trying it once with dd (who was terrible at going to sleep, hours of jiggling and crying involved) and it making her completely hyper.

One of our baby friends (antenatal group) regularly dosed her baby up in the evenings which did seem very concerning because of the regularity. On the other hand my sister was prescribed a sedative for her toddler when they flew to Australia. As a one off I don't really have a problem with that, hopefully it made the journey and jet lag easier for her dd.

tobagoisland Sat 13-Apr-13 13:03:41

In answer to the initial question - no I'm not. Until the youngest of my three children was six we holidayed in the UK, thus not imposing a long constrictive journey on them, nor imposing them on a plane load of passengers! There is nothing worse on a long haul flight (for which you might have been saving and indeed dreaming of over several years), than being forced to endure crying babies, screaming toddlers and children intent on giving your seat a full 'test drive' if you are unfortunate enough to be seated in front of them! Apropos of this, TripAdvisor recently conducted a survey on whether people would pay more to travel on 'adult only' flights and the answer was a resounding 'yes'. Sadly, at the moment, the environs of business class may offer sanctuary, but only to those who have the wherewithal for an upgrade!

boxershorts Sat 13-Apr-13 11:21:27

who is the writer

ubik Fri 12-Apr-13 12:05:16

Well am on the train again today, thus time kids dosed with joyrides tablets - DD1 is asleep, DD2 quietly listening to Cd, DD3 dropping off too. Much better than the vomit- fest on the trip down.

lydiamama Thu 11-Apr-13 23:03:18

I will never would give a medicine to my child because it suits me, just if she needs it, for illness or if she cannot sleep or is anxious, and always in agreement with a doctor. I am guilty, nevertheless, of putting some cartoons on or letting her draw on my mobile if I need some peace and quiet, we used to take all the technology we own in the airplane to entertain her, and it worked, it is not ideal but it is safer than medication to me

theDudesmummy Thu 11-Apr-13 22:55:29

Ps autistic child, over two. Mother a doctor, carefully calculated and trialled dosage. No qualms at all.

theDudesmummy Thu 11-Apr-13 22:52:09

Phenergan is the only reason we can have a holiday at all.

AmberLeaf Thu 11-Apr-13 16:16:21

Phenergan has always had a warning that it shouldn't be used on under twos or asthmatics.

theQuibbler Thu 11-Apr-13 15:03:38

Phenergan and other sedatives along those lines, such as medised, were withdrawn for use for younger children (under 2) because of the risk of infant death and severe breathing difficulties. Caution should be used with older children as well.

Obviously, you decide what risk you want to take, but it's not a case that it is an entirely harmless practice, without any consequences, to sedate young children.

The safety alerts were issued by FDA (USA) and MHRA (UK) for reference.

katrinefonsmark Wed 10-Apr-13 22:19:31

I don't believe anything she writes although the bit about her delightful son continually kicking the seat in front sounds probable.

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 10-Apr-13 22:10:08

Interesting article- the writer is far more sensible than the DM woman, who is clearly nuts, sedation or not.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 10-Apr-13 22:07:57

Phenergan the sedative of choice for long journeys in the 90s! grin

shufflehopstep Wed 10-Apr-13 22:03:16

I saw something about this a few days ago and started a thread but it didn't go anywhere (don't think I'm in with the clique yet as not much of a poster until recently, more of a lurker). I'm pretty shocked too although I'm the other extreme. Apart from in hospital when she was born and her routine jabs, the only medication my 11 month old has ever been given is Calpol - twice in her life. We went on holiday a few months back and it was two long haul flights there and back. It never even occurred to me to sedate her, even though the first leg of the journey was six hours of hell. I personally don't think it can be right to give a child medication deliberately for its side effects.confused This is the article I read about it.

ubik Tue 09-Apr-13 20:00:06

I use phenergan after nightshift, it can knock me out for a good 12 hours.

AmberLeaf Tue 09-Apr-13 19:44:10

For Tumbleweeds


What is it used for?

Allergic conditions such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and nettle rash (urticaria).
Life threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Preventing travel sickness.
Sedation before surgery (preoperative sedation).
Short-term use as a sedative in children
Short-term treatment of sleeping difficulties (insomnia) in adults.

Read more:

ubik Tue 09-Apr-13 19:42:59

I use travel sickness meds for my kids which also cause drowsiness - wish I had used them yesterday on the train when DD1was sick x3 dd2was sick x2 and DD3 then decided to roll in the sick. Sigh.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Apr-13 19:33:20

Baby monitors obviously not relevant to the thread.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Apr-13 19:31:51

Another couple at Army Staff College used to regularly mix milk with Calpol (a big, big glug of Calpol) every night to calm their DD2 down. We were having supper with them one night and they showed us the mix.

And lots and lots of parents there used to leave their DC (babies) alone with just a baby monitor when they went out for supper. Until an edict came down from the bloke in command, who'd got wind of the practice, which he denounced as unsafe.

EugenesAxe Tue 09-Apr-13 19:27:45

No... it's de rigeur for a lot of people on longhaul flights.

I have a travel sickness medicine for DS that has 'to use as a sedative' instructions on the side...

TumbleWeeds Tue 09-Apr-13 19:24:24

Fully agree with Pixel.

I can't talk about Piriton. Only used it once for a bad case of chicken pox and even then I felt bad about it (not prescribed by doctor and I remember I had to give a 'false' explanation to the chemist to get it. Can't evenrber what it was ....
I am surprised about the fact it is supposed to brushed for sedation though. It is an anti histamine so it's role is to calm the itching. A side effect is being drowsy but I would doubt it is being sold to keep children quiet on an airplane

Pixel Tue 09-Apr-13 15:15:23

Makes a bit of a mockery of the old 'what to do in the event of a crash' talk with all these people dosed up to the eyeballs on drugs and booze. Suppose if the the plane is going down you are probably better off not knowing...If I was going to snuff it I'd quite like to be off my head on champagne grin.

Wow! though, I'm genuinely surprised at this. I had no idea so many people were sedating their children for the sake of a quiet life. I wonder if it goes some way to explaining the amount of children who apparently have never learned how to behave with consideration for those around them, or to sit for any length of time without demanding entertainment/food. After all, patience has to be learned and you can't do that if you're asleep.
Personally I'd make allowances for a baby or toddler being restless on a journey, I wouldn't be so tolerant of an eight year old kicking me in the back, so at what age do people generally stop sedating? And are they just making the situation worse in the long run?

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