Avoid jet lag in children

Do children experience jet lag on long trips? How can parents help them to adjust to the new schedule? Ninety per cent of adults and children that take long trips experience jet lag. Parents can help children deal with the symptoms of jet lag in a variety of ways. The first step is to provide your child with the nutrients to help their body combat the common symptoms of jetlag including dehydration, nausea, and sleep deprivation. The next step is to assist your child in setting a new sleeping and eating schedule. Finally, allow your child to have outdoor playtime as much as possible during the trip.


Children are very likely to experience dehydration as a side effect of jet lag. However, you can combat this by supplying your child with adequate water to drink before, during, and after the trip. Sports drinks are not a great choice because of the high sodium content. It is a good idea to consult your family physician and ask if they can recommend any medications to take with you, to combat the symptoms of jet lag including anti-jet lag pills or melatonin supplements. In addition, there are several over the counter medications that your local pharmacist can recommend. Giving your child a daily vitamin can help to keep their body working at its best.

Many natural ingredients can help to curb the symptoms of jet lag such as ginger for nausea, or decaffeinated chamomile tea for sleep issues. Even aromatherapy can help with relaxation and temper tantrums. The scent of lavender does seem to have a relaxing effect on children and babies. Make sure that you pack enough healthy snacks for the trip because hunger can deepen the feelings of jet lag even more.

Setting a new schedule

Parents can prevent some of the effects of jet lag by simply helping their child to set new sleeping and eating schedules over an extended period (usually one to two weeks prior to the trip). The best way to help a child reset their sleeping schedule is by simply moving their bedtime in 20-minute increments every night. Parents should follow the same instructions to change their child’s eating schedule. However, you should allow some snacking between meals. Many people experience swelling during long trips so it is smart to avoid sodium-filled snacks like peanuts or potato chips. The gradual change in schedule will help to alleviate many of the symptoms of jet lag.

Exposure to the sun

Exposure to natural sunlight helps a great deal, with the symptoms of jet lag. Nobody knows for sure if the exposure to sunlight helps psychologically or physiologically. Many people believe it to be a combination of the two. As you are travelling let your child experience as much sunlight as possible. You can provide your child with ample sunlight by getting fresh outside air during layovers and letting the child have the window seat while flying

Jet lag is no fun for anyone! Children can become frustrated quickly, and this can lead to an emotional meltdown. Following the few simple steps listed above can help you to prevent jet lag in yourself and your children. Understanding the methods of handling jet lag will help your child to feel much more comfortable during the time change transition.