Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Font Size

    Safe Travel for Children With Severe Allergies

    Planning is key for a safe trip when your child has a severe allergy.

    Start with these tips to make the journey go smoothly.

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    The Weather: Wreaking Havoc on Health

    We all know people who blame the weather for their achy joints, killer headaches, and many other health woes. But proving these claims has been a bit more elusive. In recent years, however, scientists have become increasingly interested in attempting to understand just how various weather extremes and changing patterns affect our health. Many experts say that weather does account for some adverse health symptoms. WebMD talked to experts to learn just what is known about weather's role on our health...

    Read the The Weather: Wreaking Havoc on Health article > >

    Before You Travel

    Contact the airlines ahead of time. Tell them about your child's health issue when you book your flight, and ask about its policies.

    For instance, if your child is allergic to peanuts, find out if they’ll be served during the flight. If so, ask whether there are zones on the plane for people who don't eat peanuts. Or, if your child is allergic to animal dander, will there be pets flying with passengers?

    Book an early flight. Allergen levels tend to be lowest in the morning, because most airlines clean their planes at the end of the business day. Aim for the first flight you can make.

    Pack your own food. That's the best way for you to know exactly what's in it and how it was prepared. For example, even if an airline doesn't serve peanuts, the meals they serve may be prepared in kitchens along with peanut products.

    Contact your hotel. If your child has food allergies, book a hotel that offers rooms with kitchens. That way you won't have to eat all of your meals in restaurants.

    Is your child allergic to dust mites? In that case, you might want bring your own mattress covers. If she’s allergic to mold, ask for a room far from the pool.

    Talk to your hosts. Planning to stay with friends or relatives? Tell them about your child's allergies ahead of time. They’ll know not to offer foods with her triggers. If your child is allergic to cats or dogs, don’t stay with people who have pets.

    Scope out menus. If food allergies are the issue, check menus online or ask the hotel staff to suggest a place. Then you can call and ask questions, or tell the staff about your needs. With advance notice, many chefs will prepare dishes that address allergy issues.

    Check the map. You probably won't need it, but it may make you feel better to have the name and address of the nearest hospital.

    See the doctor. Take your child to the allergist within a month of your trip. Make sure her health is good and her medication is up to date. Ask for a note to explain your child’s epinephrine auto-injector. It isn’t required, but it might cut down on questions and delays at airport security.

    Get the latest security info. Check the Transportation Security Administration's web site before your trip. Requirements for carry-on bags and check-in policies change often.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on December 22, 2014

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?

    blowing nose
    woman with sore throat
    lone star tick
    Woman blowing nose

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Allergy prick test
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching