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Health & Parenting

Traveling With Kids: A Survival Guide

Planning keeps kids calm and comfortable -- and preserves parents' sanity.
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WebMD Feature

Ask any parent: Whoever designed the car-seat-and-stroller combo was a genius.

Remember the "old" days, just a few years ago, when they were not yet available? Andrea McCoy, MD, sure does. Her husband and very young son flew to meet her at a conference. "He had bags hanging from the stroller, the car seat over his shoulder with my son riding in it -- he was practically airborne! It was really quite the sight."

McCoy, who is chief of pediatric care at Temple University Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, says travel with kids can be enjoyable.

Most importantly, "make sure you bring what your child will need on board -- food, drinks, medications," she tells WebMD. "A baby who gets uncomfortable, if they have teething pain, for example, will suffer until you land."

Also, bring something for a toddler to chew/swallow to help with air pressure changes. An infant can be fed during these times, McCoy says.

Another bit of advice: Spring for a plane ticket for your child. "Many families don't want to pay for a seat for their toddler, and I understand the economics," she says. "But having enough space is important -- not only for you, but for the people around you. Also, a baby is much better protected strapped into a car seat and a plane seat, rather than in the parent's lap."

To get your summer vacation off to a healthy start, here are a few more tips:

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