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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Transportation Preparation

Your child may be traveling outside of the home while on oxygen. Thinking about potential obstacles will make travel easier for you and your child:

  • Make sure your stroller is large enough to carry your child, travel bag, and oxygen. Be careful if you place a heavy tank on the back of a stroller, because it may tip over.
  • Older children may be too short of breath to carry the oxygen and walk long distances. When walking long distances (at the zoo, for example), you may need a wheelchair.
  • Always use a car seat for infants and toddlers. Always secure your child with a seatbelt in the rear seat of the car.
  • Children who are on oxygen may have difficulty breathing in hot or humid weather. Air conditioning will be more comfortable in the summer months. In addition, during hot weather the tanks can become hot, so air conditioning or keeping car windows open is recommended.
  • Never store your oxygen tanks in the trunk of the car. Always secure them in the back seat, in an upright position, preferably secured with a seat belt.
  • Families who care for children on oxygen are eligible for handicapped parking privileges. Contact your state or local offices for applications. Your child's doctor will need to sign a verification form.
  • Always plan for the possibility of needing more oxygen when you travel outside of your home. You may get stuck in traffic or have to wait longer than expected. You can keep extra oxygen in the car.
  • During vacation, you will need to coordinate supplies and delivery with your oxygen supply company. Some companies have branches in other states and can arrange delivery to your destination. When traveling on an airplane, you will need to use the airline's oxygen. Contact the airline for their requirements. Plan at least three to four weeks ahead.

Visiting Your Child's Doctor

When you make a doctor's appointment for your child, tell the clinic staff your child is on oxygen. Tell them again when you arrive. The clinic can use their supply of oxygen while you wait and are seen in the clinic.

Children with public aid coverage who do not have any means of transportation are eligible for Medicar transport to and from clinic appointments. Ask your child's social worker for information on how to arrange this service.