Helicopter tours are thrilling for everyone; however, they are especially exhilarating for toddlers. While you should always check with the tour company for rules and regulations concerning child travel, there are some things you can do to help ensure that your toddler has the experience of a lifetime. Here are ways to keep your toddler engaged and happy during a helicopter tour.
Pack Light Snacks And Beverages
Even if your toddler does not have a history of motion or air sickness, the tour company may warn you that "first-timers" may become a little queasy the first time they fly in a helicopter. While this is often the result of anxiety and not the ride itself, you should be prepared to intervene if your child becomes anxious or complains of butterflies in his or her stomach.
Eating a light snack such as salted or graham crackers and drinking a carbonated beverage helps relieve queasiness so that your toddler can better focus on having fun while enjoying the beauty of the tour. Also, once the child has been in the air for a few minutes, he or she will be engaged in the gorgeous sights and less likely to be concerned about stomach problems or fear of flying.
Noise-canceling headphones will help diminish flight noises from the helicopter. If you do not have headphones, call the tour company before boarding the aircraft to find out if they supply them. It is essential that the headphones fit properly because if they don't, it will defeat the purpose, and they may even agitate your child when he or she is wearing them. Noise-canceling headphones are often heavily padded, which may provide an extra measure of comfort for anxious kids.
If the tour company provides the headphones, the pilot may be able to pipe in your child's favorite music into the headphones to further enhance the travel experience. While noise-canceling padded headphones are ideal for your child to wear during the tour, cellphone earphones are not recommended because they may irritate the child's ears and frequently fall out.
Prevent Ear Popping
If your child is not used to air flight, he or she may experience ear popping as a result of congestion when ascending or descending. Make an appointment with your toddler's pediatrician before you take your helicopter tour so that he or she can examine the child's ears for signs of infection or fluid. If the examination reveals signs of an ear infection, the doctor may recommend that you postpone your tour until the infection has been treated.
The pediatrician will also tell you whether or not you should give your child antihistamines or decongestants before flying to help prevent ear popping. While ear problems are less likely to develop in helicopters because they fly much lower than airplanes do, certain people may be more susceptible to changes in air pressure in the helicopter's cabin. Also, if your child uses a pacifier, bring a couple of them with you on your helicopter tour.
The sucking motion will help keep the eustachian tubes open so that popping, congestion, and pain are less likely to develop. Another effective intervention to help prevent ear problems during air flight is chewing gum. Give your child a small piece of sugar-free gum instead of gum that contains sugar because the added sugar may lead to digestive problems such as nausea. Chewing sugarless gum also helps calm jangled nerves. However, you should carefully monitor your child at all times when he or she is chewing gum.
If you are planning a helicopter tour, consider the above interventions that will help ensure that your family has a memorable flight experience.