What You Need to Know About Using a Pediatric Adapter On a Flight

Babies and small children sometimes need to use oxygen therapy, for several different reasons. They might need it temporarily if they were born premature, or they might have a medical condition that requires them to use it, either every day or just during certain occurrences.

Since children are much smaller than adults, and their lungs are much smaller and more delicate, they would need a much smaller amount of oxygen at a time. It's extremely important to always follow a doctor's instructions for administering oxygen to a small child, and you should never give them any more than what the doctor prescribes. Oxygen should be treated just like any other drug. You would never give a child the same dose of cough medicine that you would need, and oxygen should be treated jus the same.

The lowest dosage on most medical grade portable oxygen concentrators is .5 or 1 LPM (liters per minute). Even .5 LPM may be way too much for a small child's lungs to handle. There is, however, one device that can be dialed down low enough for even a very small infant to use, and it's approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for a child to use on a commercial flight.

The Precise RX Flow Meter can deliver as little as 1/16 and as much as ¾ LPM, or 50 to 750 cc/min (cubic centimeter per minute) of oxygen. It's an adapter that can be attached to any other Invacare oxygen concentrator. It prevents back pressure, so it won't cause the oxygen concentrator any extra pressure, which would eventually cause it to malfunction.

It comes with a flowmeter, so you can keep an eye on the exact measurement of oxygen, the tubing you would need to attach to a pediatric mask or cannula, connectors to hook it up to the oxygen concentrator, and a humidifier bottle to prevent the child from having dry nasal passages and airways.

If you need to go on a flight to get where you need to go with your child, you'll need to take a few extra important steps for using oxygen during a flight. You can contact the special assistance department of your airline, to tell them what you will need to do, and they will note this for your flight. Let them know you will be bringing along the oxygen concentrator, as well as the adapter.

Not all airlines allow all FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators, that's why it's so important to clear it with your airline far ahead of time before you book your flight. They will also tell you what you will need to bring with you, or if you need to fax a special form filled out by your pediatrician before the flight.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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