Carseats- Mandatory on Airplane? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-07-2003, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im going from phx to Los Angeles and was planning on bringing my dd's carseat (shes almost 3). I did a search.......and read that some people just checked it on instead of using it on the plane.

Isnt it mandatory to have a child in a carseat on a plane, just like in a car? I was going to check on all our bags so we could have the seat. Dh is going too!

Would love to hear your experiences on having the carseat or not, and what else to bring too. Its only an hour flight........
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:09 PM
 
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I would recommend using the carseat on the plane. It is much safer that she is in a harnessed seat than a lap only belt, just like of you were riding in a car.
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:11 PM
 
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If you have a seat for her, which I am assuming you do because of her age I would bring the car seat. I think that she would be more comfortable sitting in it and that it would be more safe should there be some turbulance.

I have traveled three times with my now 20 month old twins and the times that we had the carseats were the easiest. Sometimes they just went as lap children and the flight was full and it was a challenge holding them at times.

I found that my boys really liked playing with stickers. I had some sheets of sparkly, bright colors, animals, people, etc. They would stick them on the back of the seat, on the tray, on me, on themselves. I found that they were entertaining because they would drop them on the floor. My other suggestion would be if you do have a few new surprize toys to tie a piece of string on them. My boys would drop their toy and then it would go under the seat and it was a struggle to get it or have someone else get it for us. I know some many freak out about a string on a kids toy- but it's not like you are going to leave your child unsupervised playing with it on the plane. Once you land and give her the toy again just take the string off. Believe me I think it would just save a lot of crying and hassle if there was a piece of string tied onto it...

Have a fun and safe trip.

Tawnya
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys!

I just called the airlines and the guy recommended bringing it, for safety & comfort reasons.....but said it wasnt required by law.


I will be bringing it, just for those reasons.

Thanks for the advise on the toys and stickers......i completely forgot about getting her something.....
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Old 11-07-2003, 06:58 PM
 
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The American Academy of Pediatrics reccommends car seats on planes:
http://www.aap.org/policy/re0101.html

However, the same document admits that "The risk of death or serious injury in an aircraft is exceedingly small. Using data from 1990 forward not controlled for age, the risk of death was calculated at 1 in 8 million."

What that means in the real world is that if families decide to drive instead of fly due to the expense of buying an extra plane ticket for the baby then more children will die in car crashes than would be saved by mandatory plane seats.

The Libertarian Cato institute has published a rebuttal to the AAP reccommendation explaining in detail the argument against infant safety seats on airplanes
http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp-011.html

So, if the expense of an extra seat would cause you to drive instead of fly, remember that your baby would actually be much much safer on your lap in a plane than in her carseat in the car driving the same distance.


--AmyB
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:05 PM
 
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it is not manditory!

you don't have to use one on a plane.




*edited

i wish we HAD took our carseat on our trip to mexico, because my son HATED the seatbelts, but he is fine with carseats..


they are FORCED to wear the seatbelts just like an adult and you are NOT ALLOWED TO HOLD THEM ON YOUR LAP AFTER THEY ARE OVER TWO YEARS OLD.

So, since your daughter is three, she'll have to have her own seat and sit in it when you taxi and when the seat light sign is on .


my son screamed the entire takeoff, landing , and half the time the light was on during the flight. he hated the belt. so, the carseat is not such a bad thing.

but, not required.
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Old 11-07-2003, 10:58 PM
 
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See for us, it was the total other way round. He HATED the carseat on the plane, wanted to be up and around the whole time, and it was basically wasted space while we walked him up and down the crowded aisle. That was at 18 months. We just took another (total of) 7 hour trip at 26 months and gate-checked the carseat and it was a whole new experience. He got to sit in the real seat like the grown-ups and use the real seat belt, and then after take off could climb up and down and up and down and around and up and down as many times as he wanted. It made the whole experience SO MUCH easier!!!!

Oh, if you decide ever to not use the car seat on the plane, always GATE CHECK it!! Nothing would be worse than a lost baggage that was your car seat - you couldn't even leave the airport!!


Anyway to be totally honest, and somewhat morbid, if the plane crashes I don't think the car seat will make much difference.

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:13 PM
 
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I used Bonnies carseat the last time I flew to the mainland. I hated it... She wanted to sit on my lap most of the time and the seat was huge next to me... left me no elbow room at all, crowded us the whole flight. On the way home I checked it and was happy I had. She was almost three at the time.

If your seat is lost in transit or damaged enough that you can't use it, rental car agencies all have them, so all is not lost.
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:43 PM
 
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The idea of carseat safety is in case of severe turbulence, not really a plane crash (cuz, like you said water, it wouldn't really help then anyways).

I can't speak to a 3 year old, but DD and I just did a two-leg flight from Vancouver to Cleveland a couple of weeks ago. I didn't bother with the car seat. I knew she would not be happy strapped into it, and it was one more thing for me to lug around.

As it turned out, we were lucky and had empty seats next to us (I hadn't bought her a separate seat). She was fine, and I just held her during takeoff and landing. She wanted to squirm and roam around and be active, and there's just no way she would have stayed in a carseat.

I decided that the odds of her needing the carseat for safety were insignificant, especially compared to how much she'd have ticked off the other passengers if she'd been made to be in one, lol! (as it is, I think I became the poster child for toddler nursing: anyone who thought it odd soon appreciated how well it kept her happy and quiet, lol!).

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Old 11-08-2003, 12:54 AM
 
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I'm flying NY-San Fran in a week, and I'm doubting rethinking bringing the car seat because we're taking a red eye and I wonder if dd would be more comfortable sleeping in her seat with her head in one of our laps? Anyone have an opinion on that? She sleeps okay in the car seat for a nap, but not for the "overnight" kind of sleeping, I think.

Also, would a car rental company supply a car seat if we didn't fly with one?
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Old 11-08-2003, 02:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by CityGirl

Also, would a car rental company supply a car seat if we didn't fly with one?
Of course! That's why they have them! Unless you mean if you aren't renting a car from them? I dunno. I expect they would in an emergency, like yours got lost by the airline.. but otherwise I don't know. Call around and ask.

As for your babe sleeping... tough call.. I just know my nursed to sleep and then it was almost impossible to get her back in the seat. If the seat weren't there I could have layed her across the seat.
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Old 11-08-2003, 02:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by CityGirl
I'm flying NY-San Fran in a week, and I'm doubting rethinking bringing the car seat because we're taking a red eye and I wonder if dd would be more comfortable sleeping in her seat with her head in one of our laps? Anyone have an opinion on that? She sleeps okay in the car seat for a nap, but not for the "overnight" kind of sleeping, I think.

Also, would a car rental company supply a car seat if we didn't fly with one?
I always, always encourage everyone to buy a seat for their child, even under 24 months and to use a car seat. I'm sorry but turbulence hits unexpectedly and I would not want to risk Billy coming out of my arms in a plane and flying into the ceiling. The mental image is horrifying. You can check this thread about renting car seats from rental car companies. It also talks about flying with babes in car seats a little:

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=94970
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Old 11-08-2003, 12:30 PM
 
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It really depends on your child. My daughter does not spend much time in the car (less than 10 mins/week!) and she isn't at all used to her carseat. We, obviously, don't bring ours on the plane. Acutally, we don't usually travel with one at all but we rely on public transport.

Safty? I don't know if it's really an issue here. I looked once to see if anyone has ever died from turbulance but I coudn't find the stats. I find it hard to believe.

For an hour flight, I wouldn't worry about anything, really. A three year old will be occupied. Maybe bring something to help her/him swallow (if you don't nurse).

They are not required by law on any of the airlines I've been on, btw. Don't trust the people over the phone with airlines. I have found that they usually don't know what they are talking about.

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Old 11-08-2003, 02:14 PM
 
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When we flew from Reno to Las Vegas last spring, we did not bring a car seat with us. I wish we had because my son who is fine for a 2 hour car trip, had a hard time sitting still in the airplane. He could unbuckle his seatbelt himself, and we did have some turbulance, so it scared the crud out of me. I want him to be safe and happy, and I think he would have been happier had he been in his car seat which is more familiar, because he would have been high enough to actually see out the window.

A lot of parents don't do car seats for young kids because you don't have to buy them a ticket until they are 2 but then they have to sit on your lap. If you want to bring your car seat, you have to buy another ticket.

We have never had a problem getting a carseat for free in the rental cars we have used.
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Old 11-09-2003, 08:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Also, would a car rental company supply a car seat if we didn't fly with one?
I would never plan on using a car seat from a rental company. They will generally supply one, but you have no idea how old it might be, if it will fit your child right, how it has been treated, etc... Just not worth the risk, IMO

 

 

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Old 12-05-2003, 02:06 AM
 
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If the child is under 2 you don't have to buy a seat to use a carseat - just ask at checkin if there are spare seats and ask to be seated next to one and if you can take your baby carseat on ) i think they have to let you if you ask and there are spare seats).
Not all carseats work well on airplane seats - our Eddie Bauer Cosco one didn't - the airplane seatbelt buckle ended up right under dd's bum - really uncomfortable. i had to fold the sling as a cushion but even that wasn't enough. She didn't want to be in the seat ( she was 10 mo) at all but climbed all over us and played peekaboo with the people behind, who were luckily obliging. At takeoff and landing we put her in it, and she cried.
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:22 AM
 
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FYI - Not all car seats are airline approved. I found this out the hard way when I flew over the summer with my 4 month old. We brought her car seat and bought her a tickect for the flight but the airline said my car seat was not "approved" (Graco Snugride") and the car seat would have a label if it was airline approved. So we had to check the car seat and I had to hold her. I complained and so they refunded the price of dd seat.

(When dd outgrew the infant seat we bought a Britex and it does have an "airline approved" label - I'll be flying with it for the 1st time this weekend.)
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Old 12-05-2003, 07:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by water
See for us, it was the total other way round. He HATED the carseat on the plane, wanted to be up and around the whole time, and it was basically wasted space while we walked him up and down the crowded aisle. That was at 18 months. We just took another (total of) 7 hour trip at 26 months and gate-checked the carseat and it was a whole new experience. He got to sit in the real seat like the grown-ups and use the real seat belt, and then after take off could climb up and down and up and down and around and up and down as many times as he wanted. It made the whole experience SO MUCH easier!!!!
Hey.. this is my post! For us, DD screamed the entire take off an landing and getting her back into the seat for landing counts in the top 10 worst parenting moments, where I was physically forcing her in. Uhhh. It just gives me the willies thinking back.

She liked the seatbelt just fine, and we were able to nurse during takeoff. It wasn't exactly subtle NIP but I don't care.

Guess it depends on how you think your child will respond.
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