Protecting Our Youngest Travelers

by Frieda Flyer on December 13, 2010

in Aviation Safety

The Department of Transportation sent out an FAA reminder shortly before the holiday season began concerning the safety of children on commercial airlines:

The safest place for child on board a plane is in a child safety seat or a device based on your child’s weight – NOT in your lap.

The evidence proves children in the laps of adults are at far greater risks during turbulence or an emergency than those safely strapped into the seat correctly.  Although the cost of a ticket for a child under two may cause some financial concerns, the cost is minor in comparison to your child’s safety. also states the importance of having children properly protected by an approved CRS – child restraint system. states the American Academy of Pediatrics Police Statement on Restraint Use on Aircraft says “occupant protection policies for children younger than 2 years on aircraft are inconsistent with all other national policies on safe transportation.”

Many of the child seats today are designed to be used in vehicles and aircraft – so the same seat can be used to strap your child safely into the taxi on the way to the airport, in the plane, and while traveling at your destination.  The only exception to this is the child booster seat, which provides extra safety in your car, but is not approved for airline use.

Before taking your child and his/her seat to the airport, make sure your child’s seat is approved for use on aircraft.  Check the owner’s manual or contact the seat’s manufacturer.  If the seat doesn’t state it is approved for use on an aircraft, bring documentation or the airline personnel may not let you use it.

An excellent site prepared by the FAA is Child Safety on Airplanes. There, you can print out a PDF brochure to help you when traveling with young children.  On this site you can also find a video which shows the correct way to install a child seat on an airplane.

The DOT also reminds us that no matter what means of travel we choose, we should always buckle our seat belts.

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