Hypothetically a child is at increased risk for infection on an aircraft because of recirculated air, a small-enclosed space and limited ventilation; however, the World Health Organization ranks this risk the same as in any public space. Flights actually have high efficiency filters that filter out 99% of bacteria and viruses.
Another major concern is ear pain. Top Tips to alleviate pain from Dr. Aimee Dmytryshyn, medschoolforparents.com Expert:
- For older children, one should use the valsalva maneuver (blow out while closing the nose)
- For younger children, have the child eat to alleviate pressure change
- Children with recurrent ear infections can use topical nasal decongestant 30 minutes before take off and 30 minutes before landing
- If your child has a middle ear infection, do not fly until two weeks after the resolution