Tag Archives: traveling

How to Protect Your Ears During Travel

Air travel can produce rapid air pressure changes-especially during descent-that can affect your ears.

You eustachian tubes connect the back of your throat with your middle ear and help stabilize pressure in your ears. But if the tubes don’t open often enough, your ears may feel blocked. And that can hurt. To prevent blockage:

  • Chew gum. Chewing stimulates saliva flow, which causes you to swallow often. Swallowing helps open your eustachian tubes. (HAve babies suck on a bottle or pacifier.)
  • Try yawning. This also opens your eustachian tubes.
  • Don’t sleep when landing. You may not swallow often enough.
  • Pinch your nose. Pinch your nostrils shut, take a mouthful of air and gently force the air into your nose, as if you were trying to blow open your nostrils. Or pinch your nostrils shut and swallow.
  • Use a decongestant nasal spray. Use the spray 30 minutes to an hour before descent. It shrinks the membranes lining your eustachian tubes won’t close as easily. A decongestant spray can also help open blocked ears. Follow label directions. Seek help. If 24 hours after you land your ears still haven’t opened or still have ear pain, see a doctor.

Traveling Tips

Your family may going out for shopping, or for a picnic, or for an appointment. Traveling with a baby or with little kids on board a car be a safe and pleasant experience if you consider the following tips:

  • Wear a seat belt and ask all passengers to do the same.
  • Do not use any substitute infant seat or ordinary travel bed for a car seat.
  • Do not allow two children or a parent and a child to use only one seat belt.
  • Never let the baby ride in your arms while the car is moving.
  • Avoid the temptation not to place the baby in a car seat “because we’re traveling only a few blocks.”
  • Do not leave the rear door of the car open. This lets in exhaust fumes. Also, dangerous objects may come through the open door in a crash.
  • Do not allow children to play with sharp objects or metals while the car is moving. These objects may accidentally hit them if the car suddenly stops.
  • Put loose objects inside the car trunk.
  • A pregnant mother should especially use a seat belt. Until her child is born, she is the baby’s “car seat.” The lap belt must be kept below her uterus, across the pelvic bone, to avoid injury to the baby from the seat belt.
  • Bring along musical tapes and play them right after buckling the baby in.
  • Bring along nonchokable snacks¬†like rice cakes or bread. Do not allow kids to suck on lollipops or popsicles or anything with a stick. A swerve or an accident could ram the stick into the kids’ throats.
  • When driving long distances, make frequent pit stops.¬†