How to Safely and Successfully Travel with Your CP Child

3 min read

Image of a woman with a child looking at a map.

Traveling with Your Child This Holiday Season

The holiday season is approaching. Over 100 million people are expected to travel to visit loved ones for year-end festivities. Traveling can be stressful for everyone, especially for the parents of CP children.

Preparing and planning for a trip will ensure that all travel plans go successfully. Traveling with a CP child requires a parent to pack many items that their child needs on a daily basis.

One way that parents can remember everything their child needs is by jotting down a list. Once they have all of these items listed, they can pack a travel kit that will help reduce the stresses associated with traveling.

What to Pack in Your Child’s Travel Kit

Image of a child in a suitcase that is laughing.Thinking about what to pack can stress a person out. Especially if it is a parent that is packing for a child that has special needs.

For a parent that is traveling with a child that has CP, forgetting anything that is important is not an option. Parents must make sure that they have all the items that are necessary to care for their child.

If a parent starts a "travel to-do list," it helps with easing some of the tension they are having. It also helps them to have a peace of mind when it comes to traveling with their child.

It is important that a CP child's parent gives themselves enough time to create a to-do list for their trip. Getting started early gives them more time to pack their child's necessities. It also makes it less likely that they'll forget something important.

5 Things That Every CP Parent Should Pack

  1.  Adaptive equipment: Bring all of your child’s adaptive equipment. Especially, the items that they use daily. Make sure that it is all tagged with your name and contact information.
  2.  Medications: Pack your child’s daily medications. If any of them are injectable,  you will need to ask your child’s physician to write a letter to TSA. It will explain why you need to carry needles and syringes on the plane.
  3.  Games and toys:  Your child will feel more secure and less stressed with familiar items.
  4.  Food: Bring food especially if your child is on a special diet or has a food allergy.
  5.  Cleaning wipes: Experts at Aquaint Sanitizer discovered that luggage can come into contact with up to 80 million types of bacteria. Using cleaning wipes to wipe down surfaces and your child’s hands can help with killing germs. It can also help prevent your child from getting sick.

Traveling by Plane

Image of plane in the sky.Sometimes a family may decide to travel by plane. Before making arrangements to fly, parents should contact their airline for special accommodations. Many airlines have made changes that make flying more accessible to people with disabilities.

For example, a United Kingdom charity called MERU has made a device called the TravelChair. It helps provide the support that disabled children need, so they can safely fly.

Image of a car driving down the road.Families traveling by car may have to frequently stop. They should make sure that they give themselves enough extra time for safe traveling.

Extra time may be needed for:

  • Restroom breaks
  • Feeding
  • Medication administration

Make sure that you look ahead and plan for scenarios that could occur while you are driving. It is a good idea to know where the nearest hospitals are located, in case there is an emergency.

To guarantee that your family has a safe trip, make sure that your child is secured in a car seat. If your child wants to lay down to take a nap, you can use the EZ ON Modified 101M2 Vest to secure them.

Check out these other gadgets that can help make traveling easier for a CP child.

Authors: Nicole Godfrey & Stephanie Williamson, LPN

Cerebral Palsy Guide was founded upon the goal of educating families about cerebral palsy, raising awareness, and providing support for children, parents, and caregivers affected by the condition. Our easy-to-use website offers simple, straightforward information that provides families with medical and legal solutions. We are devoted to helping parents and children access the tools they need to live a life full of happiness