Wheels Up: Airbound with Atopic Dermatitis

On our first family cross-country trip, I  made the disappointing mistake of forgetting to pack my infant daughter's prescribed hydrocortisone cream, which slowed the progress for her extremely flared atopic dermatitis healing. It also made for a very irritable, itchy, fussy baby for some of our trip to California. In every experience and adversity, there is a lesson. And for that experience, I learned a lesson that stuck.

Preparation and prevention

I learned a lesson about being proactive and prepared. I learned the hard way the importance of having prevention and/ or treatment for atopic dermatitis on hand at all times, especially on trips out of the city. From that day forth, I was overly prepared with everything she needed to alleviate her irritation as much as possible. Before we left I would triple checked, just to be sure. I could never be too sure.

Doing things differently the second time around

On our second long distance trip, I made sure to pack my child's body wash, shampoo, and the conditioner she needed before I packed anything else. I also made sure to pack her prescribed hydrocortisone cream as well. At the time, she was not experiencing a severe flare-up. However, she did have some less severe flare-ups on her neck and on her arms. I packed the body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and hydrocortisone cream into containers, jars, and tubes that held liquids that were 3 ounces or less, per the airport requirements. Then I put my own conditioners and lotions into the clear bag as well. Next, I double and triple checked that everything she needed was packed. Then packed the rest of our bags. After that, I put all the bags by the door and knew we were ready to board the plane the next morning, or so I thought.

The next morning, after we woke up and put our suitcases and bags in the car, I double and triple checked that all her liquids and everything else she needed was packed and safely in the car. Then, we headed to the airport.

Airport security hurdles

Once we arrived at the airport we got in line to have our bags checked. They checked our bags then it was time to go through the Transportation Security Administration  (TSA) to get our bags screened. After being told to go to the faster family line then being told we were in the wrong line and having to go back we were already late, but given that we were following guidelines we were sure TSA would be quick with our bags.

However, all my creams and liquids were unacceptable. One of the TSA ladies called me over and informed me that I had more liquids than the allotted amount. I informed her that I was packing for two (my baby and I). To this she responded by asking me what each liquid was, which I thought to be a bit too invasive, but after thinking back to our last flight decided it better to comply and answer so that my baby would have what she needed. After asking about each liquid, she proceeded to inform me that she would have to remove some of the liquids and my baby and I could hopefully use hotel supplies or buy more. After explaining to her that it wasn't that simple and that she needed specific items for her sensitive skin and so did I. She looked at the bag and back at the baby and I several times as if having an internal debate.

She decided to let me go and told me to separate the babies liquids from my liquids next time and try to minimize. I knew that minimizing would not be possible given Tamia's needs but thought the argument was a waste of time and said "thank you" instead. I can understand that the airport has specific guidelines for safety but a bit more sensitivity to health needs and a less invasive process would have made all the difference.

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