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Is Your Baby Safe Flying?

Is Your Baby Safe Flying?

It’s tortured reasoning.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) position on mandatory child restraint systems (CRS) on planes is, that they’re not necessary.

Child restraint systems is “gov-speak” for seat belts.

Any why does the FAA think they’re not necessary?

They contend that air travel is safer than car travel, where, by the way, seat belts are required. So, they reason, forcing parents to strap their their kids in on a plane, thus having to pay for an extra seat, would cause families not to fly, and to drive instead.

Therefore, the FAA argues, a mandatory CRS law would “inadvertently” be endangering these family travelers, putting them at risk by putting them on the road.

At this point, an under 2-year old child, held in a parent’s lap, can fly free.

But anyone who thinks a “held child” is safe from an emergency stop in a plane, or turbulence is playing with their child’s life.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) recent conference on the subject in Washington pushed for a rule requiring all passengers, including infants, to be strapped in in a separate seat.

But the Federal Aviation Administration held fast to its contention that children 2-years and younger can fly unrestrained- if they are held in a parent’s lap.

Parents can not buckle their child in with them.

MSNBC reported that many safety experts at the hearing were very disappointed in the FAA’s ruling. The web site cited former flight attendant, Jan Brown (United Airlines), who was involved in a crash where 111 people died, including children.

Would having the children buckled in have made a difference?

Not sure, but Brown said she had nothing to offer the “lap children” during the emergency, except to put them on the floor and have an adult hold them in place as the plane prepared for the crash.

“ A pet carrier would have been safer,” she said.

The NTSB is charged with investigating civil transportation accidents and making travel safer.

While the FAA agrees with the NTSB’s position, stating that the safest place “for your little one is an approved child-restraint system (CRS) and not on your lap,” it continually stumbles over the absurd car vs plane issue.

MSNBC quoted FAA spokesperson., Alison Duquette, as repeating the canard that forcing parent to buy a ticket to use a seat with a restraint will force them to opt to drive, a less safe method of travel.

On the other side, many parenting blogs and web sites like the Denver Post’s Mile High Mamas agree with the FAA’s position saying that having to buy a second ticket for a child would result in “consumer back lash.”

But others argue that the extra cost is far outweighed by the real risk of not strapping a child in a child restraint system.

Would you pay the extra money to buy your child a separate seat and buckle up?

About Kaleel


  1. I think as melancholic as this may sound, if you are in a plane crash – a seatbelt is not going to do too much, so I don’t know why any parent fusses about whether they are strapped in or not. As you said – I think they would be more upset if their wallet was hit in any way. Thanks for sharing

    • thanks, Claire! Appreciate your taking the time to write in.
      Yes, we agree it is unlikely that a seat belt will save lives in the event of a catastrophic crash. But there are situations short of a total disaster like sudden or severe turbulence or unexpected aborted take offs or emergency landings that are more survivable with a seat bealt firmly fastened . We believe at least!
      Thanks again

  2. Ah yes, did not consider turbulence!
    And the fact that trying to hold a baby the whole time would drive you insane.

    Thanks for clarifying

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