mother holding baby

Flying With Breast Milk

August 1-7  is World Breastfeeding Week! A common concern many moms have is flying with breast milk either due to exclusively pumping or not having their child with them. Flying with breast milk for the first time can be nerve wracking. How much can you bring? What can you do to ensure your milk is allowed to pass security checkpoints? Before you travel this summer, take a look at this list of things to things to know about flying with breast milk to ensure you are able to fly without any added stress.

 

Know what you are allowed to carry

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that you may pass the security checkpoint with formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers ”in reasonable quantities.” You do not have to ensure that your milk fits into quart sized bags or meets the 3 oz rule that applies to other liquids.  Remove these items from your carry-on bag so the agent may screen them separately from the rest of your belongings. 

 

A breast pump is a medical device and therefore does not count as your carryon luggage.  The cooler you bring to store your milk in however, does count if carried separately from your other carryon luggage. Many times little attention is given to how many bags a passenger is actually bringing onto the plane, but be prepared to explain why you have an extra carryon item when carrying a pump if needed. 

 

You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers and canned and processed baby food in carry-on luggage. Additional screening may occur with these items.  

 

How TSA screens breast milk 

 

When going through security, always declare your breast milk. Kindly ask the TSA agent to change into clean gloves before he inspects your milk. TSA typically screens breast milk by x-ray. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there are no known adverse effects from consuming items screened by x-ray. 1

 

If your milk is frozen solid, the TSA agents will not perform special tests. If thawed, the TSA officers may ask you to open the container and even transfer a small quantity of the liquid to a separate empty container for visual inspection. Kindly request that the TSA agent put on clean gloves before touching your cooler. If the agent conducts a test, he or she wipes the bottle with a piece of paper and puts the paper in a machine that tests for explosives.

 

How to store your milk 

 

To store your milk, you need a water-tight cooler with plenty of ice packs. If you can do without bottles, breast milk storage bags will pack easier and lighter than bottles. After security, consider sealing your cooler with duct tape to keep it cool and prevent leaking. 

 

If booking lodging, try to find a hotel that has rooms with a refrigerator/ freezer. If you do not have a freezer in your room, or it doesn’t cool enough to freeze your milk, ask to keep your breast milk cooler in the hotel freezer. 

 

Pumping while traveling 

 

Many airports offer a breastfeeding lounge or baby care area. If one is not available, search for a family restroom with an outlet.

 

For your convenience, it is possible to mail/ship breast milk. This can be helpful if you are gone for an extended period and need to send milk home for your baby. However, shipping breast milk is costly. There are services that ship breast milk exclusively or you can ship via services such as FedEx. In order to do this, you must purchase dry ice, a styrofoam cooler, and a box for shipping. 

 

Dry ice is cold enough that it can make plastic breast milk storage bags or bottles brittle and break. To prevent this, seal your breast milk bottles in zip-lock bags and pad them with crumpled up newspaper inside your cooler.

 

The US Postal Service does not permit dry ice in the mail. You can however ship milk with regular ice packs overnight. This is much cheaper but of course has the added risk of milk thawing en route.

 

For international travel, contact the consulate of your destination country to determine their individual shipping regulations.

 

 

 

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is proud to be recognized as a Baby Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

 

Do you have questions about breastfeeding? For travel questions, always check the latest TSA guidelines. For general questions, our Infant Feeding Resource Center would love to meet with you and discuss any breastfeeding concerns you may have. 

 

Resource

1 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Frequently Asked Questions on Cabinet X-ray Systems. 9 March. 2018.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

school desk

Back-to-School Checkups for Children

School supplies, backpacks, new clothes and shoes may be on parents’ to-do list to get kids ready for the first day of school, but also important is scheduling a wellness checkup with a primary care provider to make sure kids are healthy and ready to learn.

 

Lawton Community Health Centers (LCHC) located in Lawton, Comanche, Elgin, Marlow and now Cache communities are available to help with back-to-school and sports physicals, verify immunizations are current and discuss any other medical or nutrition concerns with parents.

 

LCHC clinics provide convenient hours and locations to meet your family’s needs.  Some of our services include…

  • Primary Health Care
  • Dental Services with referral
  • Mental Health Services – Counseling (Child/Adolescent/Adult)
  • Diabetes and Nutrition Services with referral

 

LCHC provides family practice and pediatric services to individuals with Medicaid (SoonerCare), Medicare, and private insurance.  LCHC also provides healthcare to those residents who do not have health insurance on a sliding fee schedule. Patients are required to provide proof of income to ensure they receive discounts for which they are eligible.

 

For more information or to make an appointment with one of our LCHC clinics please call our Provider Referral Line at 580.510.7030.

 

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). 

 

Here are some things to think about before the school year starts.  Being prepared and ready-to-go can help get the new school year off to a good start.

 

MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER

  • Parents should remember that they need not wait until the first day of class to ask for help. Schools are open to address any concerns a parent or child might have, including the specific needs of a child, over the summer. The best time to get help might be one to two weeks before school opens.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school to create positive anticipation about the first day of class. They will see old friends and meet new ones. Talk with them about positive experiences they may have had in the past at school or with other groups of children.
  • Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time so that time change is not a factor on their first couple of days at school.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school or ride on the bus.
  • Many children become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher.  This may occur at any age. If your child seems nervous, it can be helpful to rehearse entry into the new situation. Take them to visit the new school or classroom before the first day of school. Remind them that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible. If your child seems nervous, ask them what they are worried about and help them problem solve ways to master the new situation.
  • If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day. Bring the child to school a few days prior to class to play on the playground and get comfortable in the new environment.
  • If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day, and get there early on the first day to cut down on unnecessary stress.
  • Make sure to touch base with your child’s new teacher at the beginning or end of the day so the teacher knows how much you want to be supportive of your child’s school experience.

 

BACKPACK SAFETY

  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.  Go through the pack with your child weekly and remove unneeded items to keep it light.
  • Remind your child to always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • Adjust the pack so that the bottom sits at your child’s waist.
  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried upstairs, they may be difficult to roll in the snow, and they may not fit in some lockers.

 

 

Disclaimer 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Hands in sink with running water

Teaching Kids to Wash Their Hands

This week is National Hand Washing Awareness Week. Teaching kids to wash their hands can be difficult. Young children are always on the move, and don’t want to slow down to practice boring hygiene habits. Still, it is important to instill important hand washing practices in your children.

 

Teach children when to wash their hands

 

Good hand washing is the first line of defense to combat various illnesses — from colds to the flu, meningitis, bronchiolitis and hepatitis A. The first step is letting children know we wash our hands to help keep everyone safe! Then, make it a habit by always washing their hands when the following activities take place:

  • before eating and cooking
  • after using the bathroom
  • before and after visiting sick friends or relatives
  • when coming in from outside
  • when finished cleaning around the house
  • after touching animals
  • after blowing one’s nose, sneezing or coughing

 

Discuss germs

 

Helping children to understand the concept of germs can be challenging. Explain to children that germs are most everywhere on surfaces and our hands. Consider finding a book with lots of pictures or simple songs or videos online to show them.

 

Make hand washing convenient and safe

 

Getting up to the sink can be hard for small children. Making it a fun, safe and convenient practice is important. Place a stool in front of the sink if the child cannot reach the sink by his or herself. Let children pick out a fun stool with characters, colors or designs he or she enjoys. Many stools for children have rubber grips on the steps to help secure their footing as well. Also, consider putting a rug under the stool to help catch water and prevent slipping. Kids can make a mess when the sink is involved.

 

Make sure hand towels are easily accessible also. Towel racks that are too high and cause children to reach too much could result in a fall.

 

Teach children how to use the soap

 

It may take awhile before a young child is capable of getting his or her own soap. Practice using the soap pump with them. Also, choosing a themed soap dispenser may be fun for some children.

 

Make sure the water is a safe temperature

 

Turning on the tap and getting the temperature just right may be difficult for many children. Teach your child how to turn on the cold water first and to slowly increase the temperature. Demonstrate putting just the tip of a finger in the water to test the temperature.

 

Help children learn how long to wash

 

You should wash your hands for 20-30 seconds. This is about the amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice or the alphabet song once. You may also teach children how to set a timer and watch it count down while they wash.

 

Rinse well


Teach children to look thoroughly for any soap residue. It is not dangerous to leave soap bubbles behind. However, children often put their hands in their mouths. The taste of soap may be a deterrent from wanting to wash their hands in the future.

 

Carry hand sanitizer when on the go  

 

Soap and water is always best, but sometimes it may not be available when you are on the go. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

 

As with everything else they learn, good hand washing practices come to small children with lots of practice. Remember to praise their good behavior as you are teaching them this important tip in their daily hygiene routine.

For other healthcare concerns regarding your children, visit ccmhhealth.com/directory/specialties/pediatrics to find a list of CCMH Pediatricians.

 

Disclaimer

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

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