December 19, 2016
AAA expects a record-breaking 103 million Americans to travel between December 23, 2016, and January 2, 2017. Many of these travelers will hit the road with a feeding tube in tow. In addition to weather concerns and crowded airports, feeding tubes can cause undue stress when traveling.
Concerns about TSA regulations, health needs, and emergencies might understandably feel overwhelming for parents of children with feeding tubes. However, with some preparation and knowledge, you can travel with a feeding tube with relative ease. Here are Epic’s top tips for feeding tube travel:
Have an Emergency Plan
Is your mind racing with all the ways things could go wrong? Are you staying up late going through the “what ifs” of traveling with a feeding tube? Making a plan can ease your fear and prepare you for any scenario. Think about taking a summary of your child’s medical records just in case you need to see a doctor while you’re out of town. Then, fill out this Emergency Information Form for children with special needs.
Make a (Packing) List, Check It Twice
Make two copies of a list of everything you need to pack for your child’s medical needs. Check off one list as you pack to leave, then the other copy as you pack to come home. This will ensure you take all you need with you and return with everything in hand. Check out this mom’s list to get started.
Talk to Your Child’s Health Team
Your child’s doctor and home health team can help determine your child’s unique needs and help find solutions. Your Epic staff will be happy to work with you to make travel as easy and joyful as possible. When you speak to your child’s doctor, have him or her write a letter explaining your child’s conditions and all equipment you will need. Click here for a sample letter.
Prepare for the TSA
The Transport Security Administration (TSA) can intimidate even the most experienced travelers. If you’re flying, make sure to know the rules before traveling. The TSA has plenty of information online to help:
- General Tips for Traveling with Children
- Screening People with Disabilities
- Fill out this TSA Disability Notification Card
- Call the TSA Cares hotline for further questions
Please keep in mind that they do request that their disability office is contacted at least 72 hours prior to your flight. You can contact the TSA at 855-787-2227.
All of us at Epic wish you a happy holiday season. We hope these tips help you travel without issue.