Safe maximum altitude for babies in Swiss Alps

Safe maximum altitude for babies in Swiss Alps

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Abelefko1
Abelefko1
31 posts
active member
Dec 27, 2017 - 8:50 AM

Hi we are thinking about a stay in January in the Swiss Alps and we plan on goingto cransMontana which is at 1500 m we want to know if it is safe for a five month old baby some friends have told us that1500 m is the limits so it is not so safe… The hotel tells us that it is safe so we are confused .... The baby is healthy and has no issues

anyone has any experience? 🙏

Lucas
Lucas
8830 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 27, 2017 - 10:19 AM in reply to Abelefko1
Hi Abelefk01,

The rule of thumb I am aware of is that about 2500 meters is the maximum altitude for a healthy infant.
However, you should consult your doctor to be sure.

Last modified on Dec 27, 2017 - 10:52 AM by Arno
fredch
fredch
55 posts
active member
Dec 27, 2017 - 4:44 PM in reply to Lucas

In a modern pressurized airliner you are at about 7000 feet above sea level (divide by 3.28) you are at about 2100 meters altitude even if the plane is at 30000 feet. With a healthy baby that is OK. Ask the doc. Hydration is important for all at altitude. Most babies still have a fontanel at this age, so that is a built in barometer for the pressure in your child's head if held upright.

Abelefko1
Abelefko1
31 posts
active member
Dec 27, 2017 - 5:14 PM in reply to fredch

A little different since we are staying for week...while on a airplane you will be the most for 16 hours...asked pediatrician and she said all heights are fine ??!! Don’t think that makes sense...she probably doesn’t have any experience in this area...

Last modified on Dec 27, 2017 - 5:15 PM by Abelefko1
fredch
fredch
55 posts
active member
Dec 27, 2017 - 5:22 PM in reply to Abelefko1

Accommodation to height begins with the plane ride and continues for about 3 weeks, so each day, progress is made to acclimatization.

Mark
Mark
190 posts
active member
Dec 27, 2017 - 10:37 PM

Hi Abelefko1

According to babycenter.com and their pediatric pulmonologist from Denver, infants over 3 months of age have the same susceptibility to altitude sickness as an adult. It has to do with how mature the lungs are and apparently after 3 months the lungs oxygen transfer capability per body size is similar to an adult. The web site gives the signs and symptoms to look for in an infant as of course their communication is limited and treatment if needed. I would think staying at 8000 ft or below would be ok and short trips to 10,000 ft would be ok. Mark

Abelefko1
Abelefko1
31 posts
active member
Dec 27, 2017 - 11:23 PM in reply to Mark

I searched that site didn’t find anything...do you have a link by any chance? I greatly appreciate

Mark
Mark
190 posts
active member
Dec 28, 2017 - 12:17 AM

On the web site search box type in “ is it safe to travel at high altitudes with a baby”. This will give you a short answer and a link to the main article by Suzanne Dixon who also credits the pulmonologist at the end of the article Mark

SIVA
SIVA
41 posts
active member
Dec 28, 2017 - 4:43 PM

Hi Abelefko1,

I have attached the recommendations of Royal Children's Hospital, Australia,for the infants and children travelling to higher altitudes.

Being a Pediatrician , I can personally suggest, any healthy infant more than 6 months of age can travel, provided stay duration not more than 24 hours. This is to be on the safer side. But the article which i have attached, says infants beyond 3 months of age can safely travel.

Hope this would help you.

Siva

Please login to see the attached documents
SIVA
SIVA
41 posts
active member
Dec 28, 2017 - 4:48 PM

These recommendations are for altitudes more than 3000 meters.

1500 meters as you mentioned, should not be an issue.

Have a physical check for your baby with your Pedaitrician before your travel.

Siva

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 28, 2017 - 5:46 PM

Hi everyone,

As far as I know, the warnings are not just because young lungs might be more sensitive to high altitudes. More importantly, toddlers can't communicate if something is wrong with them, and more specifically: what is wrong with them. Apart from the youngest ones as Siva says, the majority will be perfectly fine for short day trips to the peaks or staying longer in any inhabited place in the Alps. The difficulty is how a parent should know if the altitude is causing the baby discomfort. A baby may cry for many reasons.

Abelefko1
Abelefko1
31 posts
active member
Dec 28, 2017 - 5:57 PM in reply to SIVA

It does help !! But our baby will be 5 months old, for a 4 night stay. What would be your recommendation? Thanks!!

Abelefko1
Abelefko1
31 posts
active member
Dec 28, 2017 - 6:15 PM in reply to Arno

So what would you recommend? Is it safe ? Thanks for all the help!!

Mark
Mark
190 posts
active member
Dec 28, 2017 - 6:35 PM

I’m an ophthalmologist in the US, so this not my area of expertise. However I believe in following evidence based medicine and the medical studies show altitude sickness can occur at elevation above 2500 meters or 8000 ft. At those altitudes mild symptoms as fatigue and headaches can occur. Serious problems namely pulmonary edema or cerebral edema occur at much higher altitudes after stays of 3 or more days and are associated with exertion and rapid assent. All the studies show a 5 month old healthy infant is no more susceptible than an adult. Of course the decision to go or not is a personal one but at the altitudes you are talking about, I would be comfortable taking my own 5 month old child. Mark

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 28, 2017 - 6:50 PM in reply to Abelefko1

With a healthy child I would just avoid going to places over 2500 m. So no day trips to places like Klein Matterhorn, but there is still a lot left to explore. All Swiss towns and nearly all hotels are below that altitude, so no problem to stay there.

SIVA
SIVA
41 posts
active member
Dec 28, 2017 - 7:25 PM in reply to Abelefko1

If you are going to stay at 1500m for few days, there shouldn't be any issues.

I don't know about that area. If possible take a break for few hours in between and then continue.

Check for medical facilities near by your accomodation in case of need. As Mark said, I would take my own child for few days stay at 1500m.

Happy holidays

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