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Traveling With Your Medically-Fragile Child

“Anything that a normal healthy child can do so can she, there’s just a little more baggage. I just want people to know that it is possible. Your kids, they deserve the best. It just becomes your new normal.”
PHS mom Heather on traveling and excursions with their medically-fragile daughter, Emerson.

Tana, respiratory therapy, RT, infusion therapy, pediatric home service, travel medically fragile, supplies, equipment

PHS patient, Tana, on an airplane ventilator and all, on her way to Mexico!

PHS wants families to know that we are here to help and to support you in every way we can and that includes helping you prepare to travel with your medically-fragile child. See below for the various ways PHS can help you when preparing to travel to grandmas for the weekend or for that big airplane ride you’ve all been waiting to take!


  • You can ask PHS to ship disposable supplies to travel destinations in the United States (except Hawaii and Alaska). Alternatively, you may choose to carry disposable supplies with you or ship them yourself.
  • Notify PHS at least 5 business days before your arrival date to allow enough shipping time.


  • Make sure any equipment you ship arrives safely by packing it in a correctly sized box. Call us if you need a shipping box. We strongly recommend that you always bring or ship backup equipment.
  • You can also arrange before leaving home to have backup equipment available at your destination. Call a hospital in your travel area and ask for the names of local agencies that might have equipment or supplies that meet your child’s needs. Be sure to say that you want agencies that serve children because most home care and medical equipment providers serve only adults.

Air Travel

  • Call the airline about your child’s medical needs before buying a plane ticket. Each airline has separate rules about the type of medical support it allows during a flight. Most major airlines will accommodate your child’s medical equipment needs, whereas some charter airlines will not.
  • An airline may require a doctor’s order before it allows medical support during a flight.
  • Make sure the airport terminal can meet your child’s needs while you wait to board the plane or after you arrive at your destination.

Summer Holiday Shipping Schedule
PHS is CLOSED on the following Mondays in observance of holidays:
July 4 and September 5

  • On-call clinicians will be available for emergency therapy and equipment troubleshooting needs.
  • Order supplies in advance so you don’t run out! Shipping service during the long weekends may be delayed.

Do you have any travel tips, photos or experiences from traveling with your medically-fragile child that you’d like to share with other families? We’d love to hear about all your fun!

Originally published: June 10, 2011

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