Ask LP Kids: how can you prevent kids' ears popping on planes?

Kids Blog - AskLPKids-ears-popping
Checking out the safety procedure before take-off © Carrie Bradley

Taking kids on an aeroplane can be one of the most stressful aspects of travelling with children. You take excitable or nervous kids to an unfamiliar public environment, it's super quiet and generally pretty calm and grown-up, and then their little bodies are quickly transported thousands of feet above the ground.

Then the ear popping begins... so it’s no wonder that tantrums often ensue. But, as with most things parenting, with a little knowledge and planning you can make the experience more positive for your kids, yourselves and your fellow passengers.

The expert view

'You can’t stop the ‘popping’ sensation in your ears when you fly as it’s your body adjusting to the change of pressure. If the sensation feels uncomfortable then older children can yawn, blow their nose, swallow or suck on a lollipop. For babies, feeding or sucking on a dummy can help.

If you have a cold or are congested always make sure you can clear your ears before flying – or if in doubt, have them checked by a doctor. A blocked ear can be INCREDIBLY painful on a flight.'

– Ex-flight attendant and family travel blogger Carrie Bradley from

Our Twitter community says

Our Facebook fans say

The above comments and more family travel tips can be found on our Facebook feed.

Kids Blog - LPKids-ears-popping-Winnie
Thumbs up for new toys when you fly! © Imogen Hall

Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:

1. Carrie has a whole section of her blog dedicated to in-flight tips and advice for travelling with kids.

2. Learn all about why flying ears affect kids more than adults on the Kids Health site.

3. The flight comparison website Skyscanner has collated 20 tips for keeping kids happy on board.

4. Lonely Planet Pathfinder Nancy Besharah has top tips for flying with kids on her blog Luxe Travel Family.

Do you have a question you want answered? Email us at or Tweet us @lpkids using #asklpkids.

Kids Blog - kids_NL

Related content