Parents warned first 27 minutes of flight determine if kids will have tantrums

Parents are being warned that they have just 27 minutes to prevent a toddler's meltdown during a flight – and there are four key warning signs to keep an eye out for.

Dr Tom Crawford of Oxford University has put together a mathematical formula that he claims can help make for a tantrum-free flight for parents travelling with children, just in time for half term. He teamed up with Asda Money to reveal the four major mistakes parents are making when trying to keep kids calm and quiet on a plane.

Apparently, kids are most likely to throw a tantrum 27 minutes and 48 seconds after the flight departs and the outbursts generally last six minutes and 15 seconds, research states. Plus, 63% of parents are anxious of traveling with their kiddos as they worry that they’ll have a wobble and annoy fellow travellers.

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The formula created by Dr Tom has revealed four tantrum triggers which can cause your little ones to have a meltdown. If you keep an eye on all four triggers then you might be able to avoid a scream off. The most common pifalls are sleepiness, boredom, hunger and noise – neglecting to ensure your little one is comfy could be your downfall.

Early intervention with each of the tantrum causes can help parents to prevent a meltdown for the duration of their trip. Sleepiness may need to be remedied by tucking them in a blanket or rocking them to help them to sleep. Meanwhile, boredom can be fixed by providing a toy to play with a show to watch. Hunger has a fairly obvious fix – take some snacks on board the flight so that you can feed your kids whenever they get a rumbling tum.

Finally, noise may need to be remedied through noise-cancelling headphones. Although you should only use devices that are recommended for your child’s age.

Dr Tom Crawford comments: "If all four of the main causes of a tantrum are addressed, meaning they score 10, the average time until a tantrum occurs on a flight can be increased to 129 minutes, which is almost five times more than the expected time until a tantrum without any intervention. This means parents will have a tantrum-free journey for flights under 129 minutes, which covers many short haul flights to Europe that families will be taking during half term.

"To score ten and effectively address the four main tantrum triggers, parents need to ensure children are taking a nap for 37 minutes to conquer sleepiness and will need to prevent boredom by either drawing, watching movies or giving their child a tablet or phone, which is reported to entertain them for 31 minutes. On top of this, they will need to set aside 19 minutes to enjoy snacks from Asda to prevent hunger and finally, omit noise through music or reading that is reported to preoccupy kids for 14 minutes."

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As well as the formula, to further help parents travelling this half term, Asda Money has launched a tantrum-free snack bundle, consisting of crisps, fruit, biscuits, crackers and raisins – all snacks proven by parents to keep your child’s tantrums, and munchies, at bay. Shoppers can find out more about the bundle here.

Neil Foster, Senior Manager at Asda Money, commented: "At Asda Money we always want to go the extra aisle to ensure our customers can focus on what matters most – enjoying themselves with family. Whilst the half-term break is the perfect opportunity to spend some family time with the kids, there’s no doubt that it doesn’t come with its own challenges. So, as well as keeping parents stress-free with insurance and travel money, we hope we’ve made half-term travel plans a little bit easier with this equation for a tantrum-free flight, as well as a tantrum-tree travel snack bundle."

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