Giving cough syrup as a sedative to baby on plane?
We have all had times when either our child or someone else’s starts wailing the minute the plane takes off. The dreaded thought of spending the entire flight journey listening to screams is probably the best birth control around.
Baby Name Generator
Now we are not drug pushers (that kind of excitement is beyond us sensible people) but ever so often the thought of slipping some sort of a sedative to our little tyke does creep in doesn’t it? After all, what is wrong with inducing sleep in our little one? Especially when everyone around us in the plane would applaud us for it.
Over the past two years, 1,500 babies and toddlers have wound up in emergency rooms after having a bad reaction to cold medicines, according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. We, at TheAsianParent , were wondering if any parent has ever intentionally fed cough syrup to his/her child just to get the child to quieten down. We searched and found a mother (no easy feat!) who agreed to share her story (after debating to what extent her identity should be withheld) of giving her little angel some cough syrup to endure a long flight.
*Donna Choo lived the desirable single life: jetting off to faraway places in the name of business, had a spending account and a boyfriend who thought the world of her. Finally, settling down into the bliss of marriage, Donna had a baby girl, Isabelle (now 4), after being married for a year. “As my husband is based in Europe every six months, Izzie and I fly constantly to visit him,” says Donna. Traveling constantly on flight 3 years ago would have meant tugging along a one-year-old baby for a flight that would have lasted hours. How did Donna cope?
“Cough syrup” she replies sheepishly. “I mean at first I was totally against giving my child anything as such. But she was such an active little baby and even more as a toddler. So I thought to myself, do I want a screaming child and a plane full of people who hate me for it or a drowsy, peaceful child and fellow passengers who would probably appreciate my action?” Donna started feeding her child with half a tablespoon of cough syrup which would knock little Izzie out for most of the duration of the flight.
Did her husband know and was he agreeable with it?
“He didn’t know and still doesn’t. It’s not like I was giving her drugs! I mean firstly I was alone on the flight, trying to appease a fidgety, screaming child. Secondly, I had to smile apologetically at all these people in the flight whom I didn’t even know nor ever would see again. I mean it sounds like I took the easy way out but really when you are a first time mother, travelling alone for such long hours, you just turn to the first safe method you can to get your little one to settle down!” muses Donna.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in the United States, issued a public advisory warning to parents and caregivers against giving children under the age of 2 over-the-counter cold medicine and cough syrup because of the possibility of "serious and potentially life-threatening" side effects.
The advisory cited decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines or cough suppressants. Although the side effects are rare, they are serious, the FDA said. They can include death, convulsions, rapid heart rates, and decreased levels of consciousness. Hence, you are probably wondering how Donna reacted to this.
“I was shocked of course. I mean I did exactly that – started feeding her when she was less that 2. But sometimes I feel God is with me. Isabelle was and still is an active child who enjoys watching Hannah Montana, playing with her dolls, experimenting with paint and singing songs with words she has made up! She is like any four-year-old and I mean it was not a constant thing I did religiously at night or something! It was just perhaps once every month or so” assures Donna.
And for the inevitable question – Does she still feed Isabelle cough syrup when they travel?
“No, because she has grown accustomed to the taste. Haha. But seriously, being a four-year-old she knows better than to run around screaming. It was only for about two years. Also it’s universally accepted. I’m sure many parents are still guiltily doing it, even those who are pretending to be shocked while reading this!” smiles Donna.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of those mentioned in the above article