Q: How can I help my child release the pressure in their ears on a flight?
A: Depending on the age of your child, you can use the Valsalva maneuver. This is a trick used by pilots and divers to help equalize the pressure between the middle ear and outside. If your child knows how to blow their nose, have them take a breath, close their mouth, and then pinch their nose closed. Then, tell them to blow their nose. This helps to force air into the eustachian tubes and equalize the pressure. Follow the link above for more information. One word of caution, DON’T try this if your child is sick. Doing so can force bacteria or viruses from the sinuses into the middle ear and cause an inner ear infection.