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On Parenting
Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 04/03/2012

Tips for a child flying alone


(Hadley Hooper for The Washington Post)
In this week’s Family Almanac column, a reader writes to Marguerite Kelly about a scary scenario for parents: A 3- or 4-year-old girl being left in a stranger’s care while flying alone.

The plane was delayed, and the little girl had no identification, no note on her clothing, no small suitcase, no favorite toys, no snacks. Nothing. The child was so scared she could hardly talk. . . .
What can parents do to make a trip more fun for the child who travels alone? And how can they make flight attendants realize that a small child is a great responsibility, especially when she’s scared?

Kelly responds that, first of all, the minimum age to fly alone is 5. She says that any child should wear a tag with his or her name, itinerary and the names and phone numbers of the people dropping them off and picking them up. Beyond that, a child flying solo should have:

●gum to chew so her ears won’t pop during takeoff and landing

●paper and crayons so she can entertain herself

●a small stuffed toy so she won’t feel lonely

●snacks so she won’t go hungry

●money to buy a treat from the cart

Read the rest of Kelly’s advice in the Family Almanac column, and send questions to advice@margueritekelly.com.

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By On Parenting  |  11:05 AM ET, 04/03/2012

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