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Taking young children on aeroplanes: what are the risks?
  1. Cara Bossley (c.bossley{at}
  1. Royal Brompton Hospital, United Kingdom
    1. Ian M Balfour-Lynn (i.balfourlynn{at}
    1. Royal Brompton Hospital, United Kingdom


      Over one billion people fly on commercial aeroplanes each year, and taking young children abroad on holiday is an expected part of modern life in the UK.

      This article considers the issue of whether it is safe for infants and young children to fly, and reviews the hazards.

      It principally focuses on issues of hypoxia and respiratory disease but also reviews other areas (table 1).

      The British Thoracic Society 2004 guidelines [1] suggest that 'it is prudent to wait for one week after birth before allowing infants to fly to ensure they are healthy' which is similar to the international Aerospace Medical Association which suggests waiting one to two weeks after birth.[2]

      • aeroplane
      • air travel
      • flying
      • hypoxia

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