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Swim Lab International
Father and son stood on the shoreline making airplane arms together

Traveling to us on a plane for the first time?

You’ve booked your intensive therapy week and you’re excited to book your trip, but if your child has mobility challenges, traveling on a plane might seem a little daunting.

We’re sharing tips and advice from other parents that can help make things run a little more smoothly.

Pick your spot as early as you can

If your child needs a Crelling harness for extra support, it’s best to contact the airline to ask about their policies as they can differ from one airline to another. Also, not every seat on the plane can be used with a Crelling harness, so booking your seat early will give you peace of mind that you have one which is going to be suitable.

child traveling on a plane looking out of the window

Medical equipment and medication

If you need to bring medical equipment, airlines let you bring it free of charge, but you do need to book it with them ahead of time.

They all have different policies around this, but you’ll need a list of the equipment and supplies and possibly the size and weight of the items. It’s best to do this well ahead of your trip, as there can be some back and forth.

If you need to bring medications with you, getting a letter from the doctor or a copy of the prescription can be a good idea in case security have questions.

If your child uses a walking aid but doesn’t need it to get to the plane itself, you can check it in as oversized luggage.

If he or she needs a walking aid to get to the plane, it’s no problem, it will be collected and returned to the aircraft door, so it’s ready and waiting when you arrive. 

Ask for help if you need it

If your child isn’t a fan of crowds or if standing in a long security line will be an issue, speak to the security guards. They will often move you forward in the queue; they don’t want to have an upset child in line any more than you do! You can also ask for airport assistance in advance if you think you may need it – being driven in an electric cart to the gate can feel like a fun ride and make things a little easier.

The cabin crew are your friends. Speak to them before you board or once you’re seated and let them know if you have any particular requirements or if they can help in any way. Most cabin crews love children and are happy to help.

Make it fun

As with all things at Swim Lab International, our philosophy is that everything feels much easier when it’s fun!

Bring a goodie bag. Think sticker books, reading books, iPad, small games, and perhaps a new small toy that will have novelty value.

You can often take small juice cartons through security now for children, although it might be wise to check in advance with your local airport, and of course, we all love a little snack to help the time pass on the plane itself.

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