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Babies On Board

Apr
27
2006

The Wall Street Journal has let the “secret” out: some parents give their kids an antihistamine like Benadryl to keep them quiet on plane flights. (Benadryl often, although not always, makes kids sleepy.)
Medicating your child to get through a long flight is a secret? Ha! It’s on the playground tip sheet, along with using “educational” videos to get a little peace and quiet, and how pizza can count as a four-food-group meal. The real secret is how many parents medicate their kids to get them through a long Sunday. That’s what I’d like to know.

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Kids are inefficient. As a society, we like efficiency. Giving children drugs is more convenient than, say, giving parents time off to care for sick kids. Or than figuring out a more complicated but effective alternative treatment. Sure, a little Benadryl isn’t a big deal, and it can make babies and parents feel better. But what might be needed is a different kind of support, rather than a quickie prescription.
Like, for example, some understanding from fellow seatmates. Which should be easy. Every kid who cries on a flight is just expressing what every adult on the plane is feeling. Make your own reservations? Waah. Long lines in the airport? Waah. Nothing to eat on the plane? Waah. An elbow in your side and your knees under your chin? Waah, waah, waah.
So I say Benadryl for kids doesn’t go far enough. Drug the whole damn plane. What adult wouldn’t benefit from a little sedation when he or she flies? And certainly the airlines would welcome it. Finally, no one would complain when they cut out the last free beverages, convert the bathrooms to extra seating, strip the covers off the seat cushions, and reduce lighting to one bulb for every 10 passengers.
And with the grown-ups knocked out, the kids can finally get a chance to enjoy the flight, without all those pesky attempts to shush them.

Share  Posted by Deborah Klosky at 4:45 PM | Permalink

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