Safe medication for jet lag and traveling overseas

Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, shares advice for parents on whether or not it is safe and recommended to give your baby or child medication to help with jet lag when traveling
Safe Medications For Kids For Jet Lag And Traveling Overseas
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Safe medication for jet lag and traveling overseas

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I have a lot of families in my practice that travel overseas with newborns, children and teenagers to see relatives, grandparents or even just a vacation. They often asked me how is my child going to adjust to the time change and can I give them anything to help them adjust the jet lag. Well most of the time, children do pretty well. I mean it can take a few days for them to get used to the new time zone. Do you need to bring medication with you or would generally prefer to stay away from medication, but once in a while if you’re doing a long flight at night or if you have an older child or a teenager, and you're going to be flying somewhere and then they need to go to school or be in a wedding or be in event, and you want to help them adjust the time changes more quickly. Then in those cases, talk to your doctor about using medications such as maybe melatonin to help them get on a regular sleep schedule when they get there. Parents often ask me, “Can I give my child Benadryl when I try to help them sleep on the plane.” I really caution them to not to do that because if it’s not a usual time when you're child should be sleeping, give them the medication that can make them sleepy often just makes everyone having unpleasant flight because your child is going to be cranky and uncomfortable, or if they do sleep on your flight and when you get on your location, they might be up all night long. Don’t forget that giving the sleep aids to many children can have the opposite reaction. She might end up with a hyper child instead of a sleepy child. I think the best thing is to always talk to your Pediatrician before giving your child any medication. If you do travel regularly, work with your doctor to find some things that might work out for your family.

Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, shares advice for parents on whether or not it is safe and recommended to give your baby or child medication to help with jet lag when traveling

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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician

A leading medical authority for the popular press and entertainment industry, Dr. Tanya Altmann is a best-selling author, parenting expert and media spokesperson. A working mother and UCLA-trained pediatrician who practices in Southern California, Dr. Tanya is a designated spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, communicating complicated medical issues into easily understood concepts.  She is a child health expert for numerous news programs and talk shows including Today (NBC), and KTLA (CW Los Angeles). She stays on the cutting edge through her position as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, as the Chief Medical Advisor for the Newborn Channel and her private practice.

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