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-   -   Flying with a 5 year old for the first time any tips? (https://www.pprune.org/passengers-slf-self-loading-freight/319629-flying-5-year-old-first-time-any-tips.html)

McSmoothie 25th Mar 2008 12:39

Flying with a 5 year old for the first time any tips?
Hi All

We are taking out 5 year old for a small hop from one end of the UK to the other, but all of a sudden she has gone off the idea of getting on a plane? Sudden fear of heights :sad:.

Has anybody any tips so that I don't have to throw her over my shoulder while climbing the aircraft steps? Should I inform the check in desk?

Thanks in advance.



groundhand 25th Mar 2008 14:16

Calm assurance and distraction.

Make sure that you have plenty to keep her occupied; favorite toy, doll, books whatever.
The check-in, security, wait for boarding, flight etc all add up to a long time a for a 5 year old.

Middle seat, no window.

Talk about where you are going, who she is going to see etc. The trip will be over before she knows it.

Good luck

Mark in CA 25th Mar 2008 17:04

Kids take their cues from their parents. If you're anxious and stressed, they will be, too. And vice versa. Maybe your daughter has a friend who has had a good flying experience and can reassure her that all is well. Or perhaps that's where she got her fear from. Distraction is another good idea, but kids are small, not dumb. Good luck.

Wangja 26th Mar 2008 04:09

.... and if all esle fails, drug the little critter.

Phenograns/Fennegans does the biz ...

hamgooster 26th Mar 2008 07:56

I've flown with all my kids (4 of them when aged 18 months to 9 years most recently) so have some idea of techniques that work.

My second eldest is fearful of just about anything new and on our last trip (BNE to MNE in Oz - a touch over 2 hours) was absolutely beside herself with fear. I suspect she was picking up on my wife's anxiety - she is a quite anxious pax.

The tactic I adopted was to explain as much as I could (from my own feeble knowledge and tidbits I have picked up from pilots) about what was going on during the flight, explaining all the noises [that I knew anyway!], how high we were, how cold it was outside, how fast we were going etc and pointing out landmarks.

She was so intrigued by the whole process that by the time we were on the return flight she was explaining what she knew to her mother - "We are just taxiing now mum ...."

None of this helped my wife though :p

Tmbstory 26th Mar 2008 09:30

Fear of heights

In talking to your child before the flight,explain that many people think that they may have a "fear of heights" in an aircraft. After the flight, the imagined
fear does not seem so important. The reason is that you are not connected directly to the ground. If I climb and stand on the top of a windmill or look over the balcony of a high rise apartment,I have more awareness of height than I have ever had as a pilot flying the aircraft.

Hope it helps and have a good flight.


steveqwerty 26th Mar 2008 20:19

Just to add; On a recent flight I heard a kid ask his parents, "Have we reached the top yet ?"

Hambleite 26th Mar 2008 20:28

Always a good idea to have a sweet ot two for them to suck/ chew on during the descent. Stops em whinging about their ears hurting

McSmoothie 26th Mar 2008 22:31

Thanks all for your tips etc...

We have had a long talk about the flight, I fly quite a bit and enjoy it... so I hope she picks up on my love of flying.

I'll let you know how we get on in a few weeks.

Capot 26th Mar 2008 22:40

I suggest you don't make a big deal out of it......just act as though you are getting on a bus. If you build it up as an Event she'll react accordingly.

Just "We're going to (wherever). When we get there, we'll....."

And, if hamgooster will forgive me, the very last thing you should do is tell her all about how lots of people are afraid of flying. 5-year old daughters are natural drama queens, and you would be giving her the material for her act.

To be fair,they're still drama queens at 15, 25, and 35. I'll have to let you know about 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, and 95 later.

hamgooster 27th Mar 2008 06:49

Capot, not sure how you figured I told my daughter about how lots of people were afraid of flying (I agree that would be a bad idea!).

I was concerned she was picking up on Mrs H's fear of flying (which my darling spouse doesn't conceal too well) and simply decided to "give her the facts" (as far as I know them anyway) about what was going on to keep her interested throughout the flight (although after about 30 mins she just wanted to go to her colouring in book).

By the way, the idea of the sweets is good with one child - but not with more than one child - they then can argue endlessly over who got the best, the biggest, the tastiest, the nicest colour - never doing that again:{

Habster 27th Mar 2008 10:03

Careful with the "caliming drugs", it can have the opposite effect and hype your child up.You're only flying a short distance. Bring a special puzzle/drawing /presnt that will pass away the time Once she/ she opens it it'll be like any other play time;)

Bushfiva 27th Mar 2008 10:58

My friends had a pretty desperate time with their kid during a flight out to visit me. For the return trip, I gave my friends' kid a disposable camera and asked him to take photos of anything that looked interesting, especially once they were in the air, but to make sure he got a photo of the airport at the other end, too. Then he should mail the pics to me. Worked a treat, made the kid interested in everything rather than scared by it. YMMV.

PyroTek 27th Mar 2008 11:53

when i was 4 was the first time i remember flying, a QF 747 From memory, YBBN to EGLL via singapore...
apparently I was really anxious and well, my nervousness led to some other troubles
eventually we got on the plane, and suddenly i wasn't nervous!

(And that is the point that my love for flying began!)

maybe your kid will love it!

Been Accounting 27th Mar 2008 12:02

My son spent his first flight standing on the seat and pressing the call button repeatedly.

A roll of duct tape might have been useful!

Eboy 31st Mar 2008 17:55

Always a good idea to have a sweet ot two for them to suck/ chew on during the descent.
Yes, but only the descent. Avoid all sugar before and during the flight. That includes fruit juice.

ConstantFlyer 31st Mar 2008 23:12

Any time longer than about a minute sitting around doing nothing, either on the ground or in the air, calls for distraction techniques to be employed. I usually bore them stupid with long convoluted explanations of the intricacies of aviation procedures and technology. Kids seem just as interested in all the goings on on the ground as grown-up kids like me enjoy watching the planes. There are always lots of tugs and baggage trolleys moving around (except if you're going to LHR T5, I suppose), as well as bowsers, buses, and men in fluorescent suits with ping-pong bats. Once airborne, a good knowledge of meteorology can come in handy (eg why clouds bubble up, look like cotton wool, etc.), together with a vivid imagination (looks just like Santa's beard). My kids usually enjoy a sick bag colouring-in competition, with the artwork taken with us on leaving to show whichever relatives we're off to visit. They're usually quite serious about drawing some good pictures. My 4-year old daughter loves anything pink or purple, so when she saw a picture of a WizzAir A320, she was determined to go on one. I was, of course, only too happy to oblige, and we had a nice trip to Poland - WizzAir even has pink airstairs in Warsaw, so she couldn't get on fast enough! Hope your trip goes well.

llondel 3rd Apr 2008 18:23

We always take a brand new toy that's never been seen before and bring that out when all lesser distractions have failed. But then my son had his first flight at five months (which he didn't like, at least not the descent with the air pressure in his ears) so has always accepted aircraft as part of life. He looks forward to flying, has learned to ask if he can peek up front when boarding (see thread elsewhere in the forum :)) and enjoys watching the Air Crash Investigation programmes, although I do emphasise that most happened long ago and explain to him how things have changed because of whatthey discovered about the cause.

oversteer 4th Apr 2008 09:28

The first long-haul holiday I went on, I was about 5. We had to evacuate the aircraft at Orlando due to a bomb scare. On the way off the plane each passenger was asked if anyone had given them anything; being 5, I was proud to tell them that someone had indeed given me a box to carry, and that it was in my bag right now.

At this point all hell broke loose and i was taken to one side for questioning (with my protesting mother not allowed near)

The box to carry had been given to me earlier at the airport Wendys (maybe McDonalds) and was one of those happy meal boxes which was securely in my little rucksack, probably still with the toy inside. I think they saw the funny side of it (nowadays I suppose we'd have been shipped to Guantanamo Bay)

So, the moral is, don't let your 5 year old answer any questions at the security checkpoints ;)

creamegg 5th Apr 2008 08:29

My 7yr old isnt too keen on flying either but as suggested before, explaining the noises and whats happening does help, helped me too.

Why is it that their ears pop worse going down than they do when they are going up? She has been in floods of tears at the pain in her ears when landing.

We were going through security abroad in december and bless her she got frisked and searched, she was terrified lol.

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