Flying, carseats, lap children -- What's the big deal? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:09 AM
 
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Most parents don't think twice about turning their child forward at 12 months. This is 500% less safe than rear facing. At the same time they refuse to fly without a car sat since it's "too dangerous" despite everything showing the opposite.
I'd be really surprised to find someone who insisted on using a carseat on a plane, but FF'd their kid at 12 months. I think the first statement you made is correct, but that there's not very much overlap between these two groups.

All I'm saying is, I *wouldn't* use a safety device that actually puts my child at greater risk, such as the belly belts... and there's no data showing that they're safe in real-world situations, for the same reason there's no real-world data showing they're dangerous; without a large sample of children involved in airplane emergencies, we need to use proxy measures to determine what the safety issues are. I also won't go with a lower standard of safety for my children than what is required for myself, and I'm required to be belted into a seat. These are totally reasonable propositions, even in spite of the dearth of evidence specifically about children in airline emergencies.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:29 AM
 
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there's no real-world data showing they're dangerous

Actually there is. Parents have crushed their children in accidents but I can't prove it. We were simply told this in training. There is a lot of information that is closely guarded after accidents for a number of reasons (lawsuits, grieving families who don't need this information spashed all over the media, etc.) There are stories which are harrowing. All I can say is if you're ever unlucky enough to be involved with something like this, look for the closest emergency exit, not necessarily the one you boarded through. Also, take instructions only from crew members, not from freaked out passengers. Sounds obvious but there are those who are not here today...

Children have been killed in crashes but luckily, the circumstances are so varied, and it happens rarely enough that no real conclusions can be made. By contrast, there is lots of data about car crashes and the dynamics of taking off and landing are similar. So that's what they use. They told us that most of their information is drawn from road accidents.

I also object to the "false security" of the double seat belt. Parents are often convinced that a double seat belt and a bassinet are safe and they don't "have" to use a car seat. I had passengers constantly ask me why we didn't have them. I kept finding parents strapping their kids in with them in the same seat belt...

It's more important that parents are informed. Too often I try to encourge people to use car seats, only to have other parents ramble on about how "fine" it is to check a car seat as luggage or to have a lap baby. My point is not to scare anyone from flying but to get the word out that one is much safer than the other. Things can and do happen and just because it didn't happen to them, doesn't mean it's impossible. It soooo harks from the days that people said "We just to just drive around without any sort of seatbelts and we're all fine..."

The logic behind the floor position was that the parent could direct their energy to the floor rather than try to keep the child in their arms. Forward impact would pull the adult forward and a child could easily be pulled out of the parent's arms. But if the parent is already in the "brace" position, they can then use the floor to help hold the child in place. Plus, there's not as much area to go if they can't hold on.

That was how it was explained to us.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:23 AM
 
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Here's a good video for the double seatbelt debate. It's all in German from Switzerland (if I understood correctly). Just watch the video by clicking on the picture. Great if you understand but not necessary for what it shows. No, promise, nothing really scary. They tested the double seatbelts with dummies.

http://www.sf.tv/sendungen/kassenstu...0080520-gurten
wow! that swiss german is so thick. the narrator spoke high german, but the official, daniel something, spoke such a strong dialect, i could barely understand a word.

those crashes were done at 250 km/hr. they were simulating an airplane overshooting a runway.

and to the pp who said the loop belts are used "all over europe", this video says that they were banned from german airlines over 10 years ago.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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OK, so, I was thinking to take my baby on a long flight soon and do this:

- buy the baby a seat
- have the baby in a rear-facing carseat in that seat for takeoff, landing, times the seatbelt sign is on for turbulence, etc.
- at times have the baby in my arms because she'll need to breastfeed and cuddle some since it's a long flight -- we would never drive for six hours straight without stopping somewhere to feed her; we can't pull the plane over to feed her so we'll need to take her out of her seat in transit
- during the time that she's in my lap, I was going to use a Baby B'Air harness specifically so that if there was hard turbulence that could make the drinks cart fling itself to the ceiling of the plane, my baby would not go flying. People who are saying that these devices are unsafe, would you recommend against THIS SCENARIO?

I'm hearing what you're saying about it being unsafe for takeoff, taxi, landing, crashing. What about for the scenario that I'm considering above - where there will be some lap time during the flight for breastfeeding or soothing cuddles, and the harness would be specifically to protect against turbulence? My (incomplete) understanding of turbulence is that it's NOT likely to be a head-on crash type of impact, but rather a things-go-flinging-upward kind of scenario -- harness a good idea or a bad idea for just this portion of the flight? Please advise. The baby will be strapped into an approved carseat for take off, landing, and when the seatbelt sign is on.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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OK, so, I was thinking to take my baby on a long flight soon and do this:

- buy the baby a seat
- have the baby in a rear-facing carseat in that seat for takeoff, landing, times the seatbelt sign is on for turbulence, etc.
- at times have the baby in my arms because she'll need to breastfeed and cuddle some since it's a long flight -- we would never drive for six hours straight without stopping somewhere to feed her; we can't pull the plane over to feed her so we'll need to take her out of her seat in transit
- during the time that she's in my lap, I was going to use a Baby B'Air harness specifically so that if there was hard turbulence that could make the drinks cart fling itself to the ceiling of the plane, my baby would not go flying. People who are saying that these devices are unsafe, would you recommend against THIS SCENARIO?

I'm hearing what you're saying about it being unsafe for takeoff, taxi, landing, crashing. What about for the scenario that I'm considering above - where there will be some lap time during the flight for breastfeeding or soothing cuddles, and the harness would be specifically to protect against turbulence? My (incomplete) understanding of turbulence is that it's NOT likely to be a head-on crash type of impact, but rather a things-go-flinging-upward kind of scenario -- harness a good idea or a bad idea for just this portion of the flight? Please advise. The baby will be strapped into an approved carseat for take off, landing, and when the seatbelt sign is on.
I think that's fine, but you don't have to buy another separate piece of equipment for this scenario. There's no reason that would be safer than a baby carrier in that situation, and you're probably more familiar with a carrier and nursing in a carrier already. I'm sure that carseat for taxi, takeoff, landing, and any sustained turbulence plus a carrier or vest thing for nursing time in flight is the very safest option anyone could take.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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Excellent point. Isn't it funny that many parents are very afraid to fly without a car seat but got no problem riding around town without any car seat at all?

Where is this generalization coming from? I don't ever recall ever seeing a car seat in a plane seat. If I did, it was certainly not the norm as I am just approaching this subject for my daughter and I have been flying for a very long time.



But I do agree with your other points about how we are concerned about some things but fail to transfer that same concern to other parts of our lives. I think though, this is human nature... for us to be vigilant all the time about all risks "equally" would drive anyone crazy. I think our "vision" can only bring so many to the front at once. Not that the inconsistencies shouldn't be pointed out, however.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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Eclipsepearl, what do you think about the CARES harness? If my mom has a suitable car seat at her end, I am leaning towards not bringing mine. My daugher is 23 months and will be 24 when we fly and probably not more than 25 pounds.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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This is a truly interesting debate.

I've flown a lot with DS (now 19 months), both in Europe and within the US. On this last transatlantic flight, we got him a seat and a CARES harness. I am pregnant, and fly alone with him--so forking over the cost of that ticket was something we felt we had to do. Until that point, however, he has always flown as a lap child. In Europe, we've used the double belts for turbulence, and on transatlantic flights, the Baby B'Air. In Europe, we were told we couldn't use a carseat anyway. Many airlines won't allow a separate seat for a child under two.

I also take public transportation with DS several times a week. Buses, trains, streetcars, subways... I don't drive. On those modes of transportation, he either sits in my lap or in his stroller. Yes, it would be awful if the train derailed, and both DS and I would certainly be safer with seatbelts. But there are no seatbelts on these types of public transportation. It's not completely safe.

I guess I don't understand why all the fuss is being made about car seats on planes--which is an incredibly safe form of transportation, when it's never even mentioned while considering other types of public transportation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't flying safer than riding a bus or a train? I'm not arguing that IF a plane were to crash, the child would be safer in a carseat...but only provided that passengers survived. What are the odds of that happening, compared to the odds of a train derailing, a bus tipping over or two subways crashing?

Ideally DS would be in a car seat any time we take public transportation. Buses, trains...and planes. Of course, he'd be in a car seat in a car...so maybe we should drive instead. But wait, public transportation is safer than riding in a car, right?

I guess my question is this: why is there such a focus on using car seats on planes, when passengers (not just children) are unsecured on other forms of less safe public transportation?
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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I'm not fabulous with math, but from my understanding the numbers fall something like this:

It is profoundly safer to ride as a lap infant on an airplane than as a car seated child in a car. (By a difference of 0.4 to 425.0 per year.) It is safer to ride as a car seated child on an airplane than as a lap infant on an airplane. (By maybe 0.4 to 0.8, perhaps. Technically, that's twice as safe, but the risk is incredibly small either way. I think it's about the same as their risk of death by falling out of a bed or crib: http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...act/121/6/1213.)

No one should ever decide to drive instead of fly, whether the baby will be a lap infant or a car seated one on the plane, because cars have so many more accidents than airplanes.

The proposal to require car seats on planes in the US is estimated that it might save 4 lives every 10 years. http://news.ucsf.edu/releases/airlin...t-prevents-pe/ OTOH, more than 1300 children actually die every year in car accidents (and that is *with* car seat regulations), 425 of them are under 5. http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm

Which is why lap infants are allowed in the US. Even if only 5-10% of families decided to drive instead of fly, and if they drove safely, there would be more automobile child deaths than child lives saved by car seats on planes. The real question is *how much* safer, not *if* it's safer, and how that interacts with the costs incurred and the willingness for risk.

(Some people make the judgement from those numbers then that they should not ever, in any case, fly without a car seat for their child of any age. Some don't feel the benefits outweigh the costs. No, I really don't see that either decision is wrong.)

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Old 03-11-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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Trains are considered very safe as well, although I don't know of any statistics on likelihood of train accidents. They're few and far between, and since no one uses car seats or seat belts on them, there's no way to compare them. Buses are a weird spot IMO. It's supposed to be safer than cars bc of the extra training for drivers (but man, I've seen some horrible bus drivers here in NYC); and the size of the vehicle; and the speeds at which they travel. I don't like them for highway speeds though. I live in NYC, and when we go to NJ or CT, I take the train instead of the bus whenever possible. It certainly *feels* safer to me.

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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I thought you weren't allowed to hold your baby during turbulence. Don't you have to wrap a lap baby in a blanket and stuff them under the seat?


Sorry, this really cracked me up, picturing that.

Anyway, where I live you're not allowed to bring a car seat into the plane, and you have to use the waist belt (that straps onto your own waist belt) for kids under the age of 2 when the seatbelt sign is on. Kids over 2 years have to be in they're own seats with belts on.

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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where do you live?
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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those crashes were done at 250 km/hr. they were simulating an airplane overshooting a runway.
Thinking of those videos showing baby capsules failing horribly at only 35 mph (they're normally tested at 30mph). How do most car seats perform at 155mph?
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I'm a flight attendant for the world's (current) largest carrier, and nowhere in our manual does it say to ever put a child on the floor. In both instances of a child without a seatbelt and an infant in arms, you are to hold the child close and provide support to an infant's head and neck.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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where do you live?
most, if not all, of european airlines do not allow carseats...
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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where do you live?
If this was for me, Europe, Scandinavian country.

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most, if not all, of european airlines do not allow carseats...
Indeed.

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Old 03-13-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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most, if not all, of european airlines do not allow carseats...
Not in my experience. We have flown Swiss, Lufthansa, BA, SAS, etc all with car seats and no problem... with three kids.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Not in my experience. We have flown Swiss, Lufthansa, BA, SAS, etc all with car seats and no problem... with three kids.
Most European carseats need a three point harness to fasten them securely, therefore they would not work with the lap belts on a plane.

Did you bring a US seat that could be secured with a lap belt? On flights to and from the US I believe you can use FAA approved car seats, even with European carriers.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:36 AM
 
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It is profoundly safer to ride as a lap infant on an airplane than as a car seated child in a car. (By a difference of 0.4 to 425.0 per year.) It is safer to ride as a car seated child on an airplane than as a lap infant on an airplane. (By maybe 0.4 to 0.8, perhaps. Technically, that's twice as safe, but the risk is incredibly small either way. I think it's about the same as their risk of death by falling out of a bed or crib: http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...act/121/6/1213.)

No one should ever decide to drive instead of fly, whether the baby will be a lap infant or a car seated one on the plane, because cars have so many more accidents than airplanes.

The proposal to require car seats on planes in the US is estimated that it might save 4 lives every 10 years. http://news.ucsf.edu/releases/airlin...t-prevents-pe/ OTOH, more than 1300 children actually die every year in car accidents (and that is *with* car seat regulations), 425 of them are under 5. http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm
Thank you. Best post on the board for this year. Those numbers but they summarize very well that the risks. It is safer to ride in a car sat on a plane, some say otherwise but I believe so, but since flying is so safe benefits are insignificant. A child's death is always tragic so it's better the more lives we save but one must compare this with other things. During 10 years 6000 young kids drown, 4250 kids under 5 die in traffic, 400 000 people die in traffic, 250 kids die in the home from a falling television set, and 50 000 kids die globally from drinking Kerosene.

We do want to save as many kids we can with limited resources. IMHO it would be better and far cheaper to focus on something else than car seats on plane since very few lives would be saved. In a perfect world no kids would die at all regardless of circumstances but that's not possible. Mandatory car seats on planes would probably lead to more lives lost since some parents would take the car instead of flying. Perhaps without a car seats since a high percentage of children dying in traffic are unrestrained.

[QUOTE=Ironica;13343031]I'd be really surprised to find someone who insisted on using a carseat on a plane, but FF'd their kid at 12 months. I think the first statement you made is correct, but that there's not very much overlap between these two groups.


You would be very surprised of what you see after visiting 30+ countries...... :-) As you probably know, a very lage percentage turn kids ff at 12 months. On another board where actually talking about people who have seen someone erf in real life and it's very few.....

My point is that many parents might use a car seat on a plane believing it's not safe flying without one. At the same time they would do many other things in real life where children are at a risk which is thousands of times higher. They might let them ride without a car seat or perhaps play alone next to the pool.

We can't protect our kids against everything so it's better to focus on things which are prven to be dangerous and take many lives. Flying is nowhere on that list.

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Trains are considered very safe as well, although I don't know of any statistics on likelihood of train accidents. They're few and far between, and since no one uses car seats or seat belts on them, there's no way to compare them. Buses are a weird spot IMO. It's supposed to be safer than cars bc of the extra training for drivers (but man, I've seen some horrible bus drivers here in NYC); and the size of the vehicle; and the speeds at which they travel. I don't like them for highway speeds though. I live in NYC, and when we go to NJ or CT, I take the train instead of the bus whenever possible. It certainly *feels* safer to me.
Good points. Traveling by train is very safe. There are some horrible crashes at times but those are often in less developed countries where oversight might not be great. Traveling by bus is also very safe although I would estimate the risk at many times higher than train. I would be interested in seeing some stats on this. I always use a set belt on the bus, my kids as well, but have so far never used a car seat. On local buses there are no belt but they travel slowly and in my experience it's extremely rare to have accidents with fatalities. ANyone have more data on this?

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I'm a flight attendant for the world's (current) largest carrier, and nowhere in our manual does it say to ever put a child on the floor. In both instances of a child without a seatbelt and an infant in arms, you are to hold the child close and provide support to an infant's head and neck.
Never heard this either but I guess some airlines could have this policy. I don't really see how this would greatly increase safety.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by anewmama
where do you live?
If this was for me, Europe, Scandinavian country.

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Originally Posted by vbactivist
most, if not all, of european airlines do not allow carseats...
Indeed.
Major airlines allow car seats but it's very uncommon to see people using car seats in Europe. People know traveling by plane is ultra safe for kids so there is no need for a car seat. Using a car seat on board to make sure it arrives safely at destination is a good idea but car seat use in countries outside Sweden and Norway is sadly poor.

There are some airlines which do not allow car seats at all. Mostly those who focus on shorter flights within Europe.

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there's no real-world data showing they're dangerous

Actually there is. Parents have crushed their children in accidents but I can't prove it. We were simply told this in training. There is a lot of information that is closely guarded after accidents for a number of reasons (lawsuits, grieving families who don't need this information spashed all over the media, etc.) There are stories which are harrowing. All I can say is if you're ever unlucky enough to be involved with something like this, look for the closest emergency exit, not necessarily the one you boarded through. Also, take instructions only from crew members, not from freaked out passengers. Sounds obvious but there are those who are not here today...

Children have been killed in crashes but luckily, the circumstances are so varied, and it happens rarely enough that no real conclusions can be made. By contrast, there is lots of data about car crashes and the dynamics of taking off and landing are similar. So that's what they use. They told us that most of their information is drawn from road accidents.
Just because you're told something in training doesn't make it true. I'll cut you some slack and say there are probably parents who have crushed their kids in accidents. But I'm sure there are also accidents where lap belts have saved lives as well. It's really irrelevant. Since there are so few accidents and kids injured on planes is almost unheard of, it's not a problem.

If we had children injured on planes every day we would have to do something about it. Researchers know this and are not concerned about flying with a child since it's been proven ultra safe. It's like we're trying to invent a problem. Traveling with a child without a car seat is ultra safe and it's almost unheard of to have a child saved by a car seat or injured by turbulence. Those are facts not opinions.

Having a child rear facing up to 2 years has been proven to be 500% safer than forward facing. And there are many kids each year who die and are seriously injured due to this (like Joel). It makes more sense to focus on this and keeping more kids (and adults) restrained in vehicles since lives are actually lost. There are zero, or very close to zero, kids lost each year due to not using a car seat on a plane.

Lets move on to something else

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Old 03-15-2009, 06:52 AM
 
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There are zero, or very close to zero, kids lost each year due to not using a car seat on a plane.
Very nice post, AD.

There are more reasons than safety to use a child restraint on a plane. We use car seats every time because it's much more convenient for me to strap them in then to deal with two crazy toddlers trying to wriggle around and run about the plane. And if it ends up preventing an injury at some point, all the better.

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Old 03-15-2009, 09:38 AM
 
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That's a good point. Every year there are families offloaded from flights because they couldn't control their lap-held toddler. We were under strict instructions that all passengers had to be seated during taxi. Having a car seat on board would greatly help this.

People can play with safety statistics all they want but the fact remains that there are very few families who would drive instead of fly because of having to buy ONE more ticket. I haven't ever thought about driving from Europe to California

Usually, a family can afford to fly or not. One ticket doesn't really matter in most cases. Time contraints are the reason a lot of families fly, and even if they to have the time to drive, by the time they count in gas, food, any hotels where they have to stay en route, etc. the cost ends up being a non-issue.

Most of the reason we opt to drive over flying is to have the car at our destination or we're going to a destination which is hard to reach by plane. I have actually flown with the children and met my dh at our destination (or en route).

Just because you're told something in training doesn't make it true.

I think Adventuredad just said that for the sake of it. I'm not sure why the airlines would lie to their own employees but for the record, there is a lot they don't share with the public. Logically, double seatbelts are a bad idea. If they weren't, they would be allowed in cars, which they aren't.

For me, ONE child's death justifies getting the word out that your child is safer in a car seat than in a lap. Pure logic. Getting the car seat to the destination in good shape so that the child is not a in an adults lap on the road is also enough of a justification for me.

I fly alone with three children and managing a car seat for us has never been an issue. Many European airlines DO allow car seats (though they can can have funky, illogical rules about it). Even when they've taken my seat away, they tried to keep it stowed in the cabin so that I didn't have to worry about it in the hold (look on the bright side-right!)
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:08 AM
 
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People can play with safety statistics all they want but the fact remains that there are very few families who would drive instead of fly because of having to buy ONE more ticket. I haven't ever thought about driving from Europe to California
There was a poster right before me who asked EXACTLY that question. I've heard it dozens and dozens of times... so should we just drive instead? If I didn't know those statistics, I would think it was better to drive if car seats were mandatory. And the main point of my post was:

No one should ever drive instead of fly. Lap infants on planes are 1000 times safer than car seated infants in cars.

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Old 03-15-2009, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No one should ever drive instead of fly. Lap infants on planes are 1000 times safer than car seated infants in cars.
I think this is a ridiculous statement. While it may very well be true, I can't afford to fly. My mom is paying for this trip. Otherwise we'd never get to visit.

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Old 03-15-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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That's a good point. Every year there are families offloaded from flights because they couldn't control their lap-held toddler. We were under strict instructions that all passengers had to be seated during taxi. Having a car seat on board would greatly help this.

People can play with safety statistics all they want but the fact remains that there are very few families who would drive instead of fly because of having to buy ONE more ticket. I haven't ever thought about driving from Europe to California

Usually, a family can afford to fly or not. One ticket doesn't really matter in most cases. Time contraints are the reason a lot of families fly, and even if they to have the time to drive, by the time they count in gas, food, any hotels where they have to stay en route, etc. the cost ends up being a non-issue.

Most of the reason we opt to drive over flying is to have the car at our destination or we're going to a destination which is hard to reach by plane. I have actually flown with the children and met my dh at our destination (or en route).

Just because you're told something in training doesn't make it true.

I think Adventuredad just said that for the sake of it. I'm not sure why the airlines would lie to their own employees but for the record, there is a lot they don't share with the public. Logically, double seatbelts are a bad idea. If they weren't, they would be allowed in cars, which they aren't.

For me, ONE child's death justifies getting the word out that your child is safer in a car seat than in a lap. Pure logic. Getting the car seat to the destination in good shape so that the child is not a in an adults lap on the road is also enough of a justification for me.

I fly alone with three children and managing a car seat for us has never been an issue. Many European airlines DO allow car seats (though they can can have funky, illogical rules about it). Even when they've taken my seat away, they tried to keep it stowed in the cabin so that I didn't have to worry about it in the hold (look on the bright side-right!)
I didn't want to be rude, although I somehow to manage to sound like that constantly (I'm wroking on it ok) I'm just saying there are lots of things which are said about car seat safety which are not true. Two great examples are that harnessing is safer than high back boosters fro kids 4+ and especially that front seats of installs of rear facing seats are unsafe. Front seat installs are actually as safe or safer than the rear but most say the opposite. This has been proven years ago by research and is no longer even debated.

Lets say that no lap belt is a little safer. In the big picture it still means noting. How much fewer deaths or injuries are you looking for. We can't get much lower than zero and that's almost ehre we are right now. If we can save 4 lives in 10 years by having every child in a car seat then we might save 1 life every hundred years by not using a lap belt. I've never heard of lap belts being inferior but it could be small difference. I would like to see some objective peer reviewed studies to learn more.

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Logically, double seatbelts are a bad idea. If they weren't, they would be allowed in cars, which they aren't.
Lap belts would be very safe in cars if there were no accidents. That's how you should compare them. You can't seriously make this comparison. Driving is so much "dangerous" a comparison is not applicable. The G-forces are also much different. If I remember correctly, G-forces tested in planes is around 11-12 G but lets say it's 15. That's still half or less of G-forces in a car are tested for.

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For me, ONE child's death justifies getting the word out that your child is safer in a car seat than in a lap. Pure logic. Getting the car seat to the destination in good shape so that the child is not a in an adults lap on the road is also enough of a justification for me.
I check my seats due to not being able to use them on the plane (I don't wan to to either). But you are of course right that using them on board is a much better way of "transporting" the seats. Totally agree with you. I've always said that using a car seat on plane PURELY for safety is not rational. I've also said there are many other good reasons for bringing a sat on board. Your point of getting them safely to the destination is just on of those reasons.

Using a car seat for every child we would save 4 lives in 10 years according to Evies post. That's after billions of flights. I say the risk/reward is terrible. We could save hundreds or thousands of kids by simply having parents rear face longer. Something that requires no new seats, just using the current ones longer.

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Old 03-15-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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I always use a set belt on the bus, my kids as well, but have so far never used a car seat. On local buses there are no belt but they travel slowly and in my experience it's extremely rare to have accidents with fatalities. ANyone have more data on this?
I can't dig up the data right now, but we covered this in one of my classes. There are a lot of factors that lower injuries and deaths in local bus accidents:

* Professional drivers are less likely to get into accidents and get in less serious ones when they do (I think this statistic, counting truck drivers and taxi drivers also, was something like half the incidence)
* Buses accelerate and decelerate much more slowly (8 ft/s/s) than cars (16 ft/s/s)
* Buses reach lower top speeds and tend to stay in the right-hand lanes where traffic is slower
* The passenger compartment of the bus is higher up than most of the metal on the road
* The size/weight of the bus means it's less likely to stop very suddenly in the event of a crash

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People know traveling by plane is ultra safe for kids so there is no need for a car seat.
But, the risks are not different for kids than for adults. Your arguments all imply the conclusion that seat belts on planes (for adults and older children) are ALSO totally unnecessary and irrational. Do you actually feel that way, or do you see a distinction?

One of the reasons for the extremely tiny statistical sample of children in plane crashes is the small number of children on planes in the first place. A typical flight of 100+ people might have three or four kids of car-seat age on it. So, while I can't fault your math, much of the lower risk of children dying in plane emergencies is due to the lower chance of children being on planes at all. This skews the statistics. Better to look at the statistics for *all* passengers, not just children, and seat belt use.

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Just because you're told something in training doesn't make it true. I'll cut you some slack and say there are probably parents who have crushed their kids in accidents. But I'm sure there are also accidents where lap belts have saved lives as well.
This sounds a lot like the argument against using seat belts in cars: "If you're belted in, you can't get thrown clear of the wreck!"

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It's really irrelevant. Since there are so few accidents and kids injured on planes is almost unheard of, it's not a problem.
Unless it's YOUR child. Then, of course, you'd be kicking yourself for the rest of your life if you could have done some little thing (and, having flown several times with a carseat, it really isn't that big a deal) that would have made the difference.

You're arguing against making carseats mandatory on planes... ok, fine. I accept the statistical reason why that's not a good idea. But you also seem to be arguing against anyone using safety as a reason (or at least, the main reason) for taking a carseat on a plane. I don't get that. Clearly it's safer... it's just that it's statistically extremely unlikely for an incident to happen where that safety difference matters. (Though I already pointed out how many of the supposed "convenience" factors are also safety issues.)

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Researchers know this and are not concerned about flying with a child since it's been proven ultra safe.
Flying has been proven ultra-safe. It is not MORE safe for children than for adults. Adults are required to wear seat belts. Why?

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It's like we're trying to invent a problem. Traveling with a child without a car seat is ultra safe and it's almost unheard of to have a child saved by a car seat or injured by turbulence. Those are facts not opinions.
What's the statistical advantage to wearing your seat belt during a flight vs. not wearing one? Even during take-off and landing? Should we dispense with the expense of installing them at all?

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Having a child rear facing up to 2 years has been proven to be 500% safer than forward facing. And there are many kids each year who die and are seriously injured due to this (like Joel). It makes more sense to focus on this and keeping more kids (and adults) restrained in vehicles since lives are actually lost.
I'm not sure how taking one's carseat on a plane removes the focus from rear-facing. If anything, taking your 18-month-old's carseat on the plane and installing it rear-facing exposes a wider audience to ERF.

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There are zero, or very close to zero, kids lost each year due to not using a car seat on a plane.
There are zero adults lost due to not wearing a seat belt on a plane in many years. Why are there seat belts on the plane?

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Lets move on to something else
After you answer my question: why are adults required to wear seat belts on a plane?
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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I think this is a ridiculous statement. While it may very well be true, I can't afford to fly. My mom is paying for this trip. Otherwise we'd never get to visit.
The point is--IF you can afford for the whole family to fly with 1 lap infant, you're safer flying than driving. If you can't afford for the whole family to fly with 1 lap infant, then that's just how it is. You weren't going to fly anyway.

People just keep saying "if I couldn't afford for EVERYONE to have a seat, I wouldn't fly." If that means "I wouldn't go" then it doesn't change safety much. If that means "I would drive instead of having a lap infant," that's 1000 less safe, or so. It's a bad trade off to make.

Like I've said the whole way, the safety difference between lap infants and car seated infants on planes is very very small. Some people look at those numbers and decide to always buy a seat for the baby. Some people look at those numbers and decide to have a lap infant. Both fine, IMO. Some look at those numbers and shrug, because they weren't going to/can't afford to fly anyway. Also fine. No one should look at the numbers and decide to drive instead of fly with a lap infant though.

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Old 03-15-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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I can't dig up the data right now, but we covered this in one of my classes. There are a lot of factors that lower injuries and deaths in local bus accidents:

* Professional drivers are less likely to get into accidents and get in less serious ones when they do (I think this statistic, counting truck drivers and taxi drivers also, was something like half the incidence)
* Buses accelerate and decelerate much more slowly (8 ft/s/s) than cars (16 ft/s/s)
* Buses reach lower top speeds and tend to stay in the right-hand lanes where traffic is slower
* The passenger compartment of the bus is higher up than most of the metal on the road
* The size/weight of the bus means it's less likely to stop very suddenly in the event of a crash
Thanks. If you ever find the info it would be great if you could Pm me.

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But, the risks are not different for kids than for adults. Your arguments all imply the conclusion that seat belts on planes (for adults and older children) are ALSO totally unnecessary and irrational. Do you actually feel that way, or do you see a distinction?
I don't know the difference in safety, if any. Do you? I think that data is hard to find. Both are ultra safe, isn't that good enough? Seat belts and alp belts on planes provide plenty of protection which all dta show. but are of course a compromise of many things

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One of the reasons for the extremely tiny statistical sample of children in plane crashes is the small number of children on planes in the first place. A typical flight of 100+ people might have three or four kids of car-seat age on it. So, while I can't fault your math, much of the lower risk of children dying in plane emergencies is due to the lower chance of children being on planes at all. This skews the statistics. Better to look at the statistics for *all* passengers, not just children, and seat belt use.
I usually see many more kids than that but don't know the official average. Do you have a source for those numbers? I do agree that far fewer kids fly each year. Anyway, there are tens of millions of flights each year in US alone. That's many millions of kids flying in US alone. till, death and injury by turbulence is zero are close to zero for kids.

Lets look at the stats for adults instead as you asked for. During a typical 15 years period 2 adults die by turbulence:

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From 1981 to November, 1996, there were 252 reports of turbulence affecting major air carriers. As a result, two passengers died, 63 suffered serious injuries, and 863 received minor injuries. Both of the fatalities in these incidents involved passengers who were not wearing their seat belts while the seat belt sign was illuminated. Of the 63 passengers who were seriously injured, 59 were not wearing their seat belts while the seat belt sign was illuminated.
Do you think two death during 15 years is a lot? This is many hundreds of millions o flights. During the same period 600 000+ people die in traffic accidents in US alone.

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This sounds a lot like the argument against using seat belts in cars: "If you're belted in, you can't get thrown clear of the wreck!"
No it doesn't. People say all kids of incorrect things about safety and car seat safety. One of my favorites is everyone saying front seat installs (airbag disabled) of rf seats is dangerous., FAct is it's as safe or safer to have a rf seats installed in front which has been proven many years ago. Still, most parents say it's very dangerous. Doesn't make it true. It could be a little safer or it could be a little less safe,in the big picture it's still irrelevant. The difference in safety, if any, is too small to matter which all data show.

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Unless it's YOUR child. Then, of course, you'd be kicking yourself for the rest of your life if you could have done some little thing (and, having flown several times with a carseat, it really isn't that big a deal) that would have made the difference.
No I wouldn't. We can't protect our kids against everything. But we can take precautions were we know there are dangers. Like in traffic, kids near water, SIDS, etc. I keep my kids rf to at least 4, a kids dying in an accident that way is extremely unusual. But during a freak accident it could still happen. It would be tragic but I would also know it was a freak thing.

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What's the statistical advantage to wearing your seat belt during a flight vs. not wearing one? Even during take-off and landing? Should we dispense with the expense of installing them at all?
I don't know, do you? Seat belt provide plenty of protection for those wearing them. A harness might be safer, I don't know, but there are many other factors at play. Seat belt has been proven to provide plenty of protection and I'm sure the cost is small.

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I'm not sure how taking one's carseat on a plane removes the focus from rear-facing. If anything, taking your 18-month-old's carseat on the plane and installing it rear-facing exposes a wider audience to ERF.
You know something about risk, something most parents are notoriously poor at. Many parents actually believe flying is a dangerous without a car seat. Most parents freak out for months about the best car seat on a flight, a sfty benefit of 0.01% or whatever it might be. At the same time they turn ff at 12 months which is a500% less safe. It's all about being informed and parents get very confused when they hear one must fly with a car seat. It's not dangerous without one which all data show.


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There are zero adults lost due to not wearing a seat belt on a plane in many years. Why are there seat belts on the plane?
Set belt is a compromise which makes flying safer but I'm sure there are far better solutions available. It's hard to argue those should be implemented when 2 adults die during 15 years.

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You're arguing against making carseats mandatory on planes... ok, fine. I accept the statistical reason why that's not a good idea. But you also seem to be arguing against anyone using safety as a reason (or at least, the main reason) for taking a carseat on a plane. I don't get that. Clearly it's safer... it's just that it's statistically extremely unlikely for an incident to happen where that safety difference matters. (Though I already pointed out how many of the supposed "convenience" factors are also safety issues.)
I say the same as I have said many times before. There are good reasons to bring a car seat on board. Doing it PURELY for safety makes no sense since there is no safety problem despite tens or hundreds of millions of flights each year.

It's easy to make the case based on safety since there is data available showing zero, or very close to zero, kids are dying each year due to turbulence. The amount of injured kids in turbulence is also almost unheard of.

You're talking a lot about safety without backing it up. It's very easy, please show me some data that says flying with kids is dangerous. Not opinions, statistics which show injury rates are very high or there are many deaths due to no car seats on the plane. 99.9% or more of kids fly without car seats, there must be thousands of incidents we can choose from. A large percentage also fly with lap belts, there must be tons of info shoing just how many kids we could save doing things differently?

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After you answer my question: why are adults required to wear seat belts on a plane?
My kids used lap belts during the the beginning. Now they use their own sat and a seat belt. Both provide plenty of protection which all data show. There are also tens of millions of kids each year flying without a lap belt of car eat. Despite these massive amounts of flights, it's fatalities due to turbulence is almost unheard of. And so are injury rates.

Some say car eat doesn't offer a safety benefit but I would say it does. It's that it offer protection from a danger that isn't event there. Yes, it's a little safer but how low do you want to death rate. Is zero, or close to zero, not low enough.

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Like I've said the whole way, the safety difference between lap infants and car seated infants on planes is very very small. Some people look at those numbers and decide to always buy a seat for the baby. Some people look at those numbers and decide to have a lap infant. Both fine, IMO. Some look at those numbers and shrug, because they weren't going to/can't afford to fly anyway. Also fine. No one should look at the numbers and decide to drive instead of fly with a lap infant though.
Evies mom sums it up perfectly

I think we've bored everyone to death. If you want to continue perhaps we could do it via PM?:-)

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Old 03-15-2009, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The point is--IF you can afford for the whole family to fly with 1 lap infant, you're safer flying than driving. If you can't afford for the whole family to fly with 1 lap infant, then that's just how it is. You weren't going to fly anyway.

Ok, I see what you're saying. I had a feeling I was missing the point.

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Old 03-16-2009, 01:35 AM
 
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I don't know the difference in safety, if any. Do you? I think that data is hard to find. Both are ultra safe, isn't that good enough? Seat belts and alp belts on planes provide plenty of protection which all dta show.
Yes. So, I wear a seat belt on the plane. So does my child. At their ages, "seat belt" consists of a car seat; they're not old enough to use a lap belt properly.

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I usually see many more kids than that but don't know the official average. Do you have a source for those numbers?
I never started paying attention to the number of kids on flights until I had my own. I know that I'd seen them before, but I never noticed more than 2 or 3. Since I have kids, I think I've counted as many as 3 other children on the same flight as us. There are probably flights (like, to Orlando Florida for example) that have more children, but I'd be shocked to find that there was a single flight in an entire year where kids made up even half the passengers.

And so, since the statistical samples of airplane emergencies are pretty small, and children are a smaller still subset of people on planes, it's hard to draw ANY conclusions about safety from the statistics about children... whether the conclusion is that things are dangerous, or that things are safe. I'm not maintaining that they're dangerous; I'm saying it's safER to do it this way, and with lots of other advantages, I wouldn't consider doing it any other way. You're saying it's so safe that it's... what... insulting? Ridiculous? I'm not sure what... to say that one is safer than the other.

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I do agree that far fewer kids fly each year. Anyway, there are tens of millions of flights each year in US alone. That's many millions of kids flying in US alone. till, death and injury by turbulence is zero are close to zero for kids.
And adults; by the statistics you cited, if the average flight carries 100 passengers, that's over a billion passenger flights a year in the US, so that's two fatalities and 63 injuries out of billions. So why make the distinction? In this case, I doubt there's a whole lot of differences between adult and child safety, unless that difference is a result of different methods of securing their bodies in the cabin.

What I'm saying is, the argument you're making that there's no safety advantage to securing children in the cabin goes for adults, too, and yet we're all expected to wear our seatbelts. Just make up your mind, is all. ;-)

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I don't know, do you? Seat belt provide plenty of protection for those wearing them.
So why would you take issue with someone saying "I keep my babies strapped in on all airplane flights"?

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You know something about risk, something most parents are notoriously poor at. Many parents actually believe flying is a dangerous without a car seat.
They do? They don't seem to come to *this* board. Around here, it seems to be about 50% folks who would never fly without a carseat (for a combination of reasons, including safety in flight), 20% folks who will take the carseat on the plane if it's convenient, and the rest folks who think it's a waste of money/energy to ever do so. I've never seen anyone say that they thought flying without a carseat was "dangerous." A bad idea? Sure... but that has as much to do with convenience and comfort as with in-flight safety.

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Most parents freak out for months about the best car seat on a flight, a sfty benefit of 0.01% or whatever it might be.
Again, they do? Where? I see a lot of questions about what's the best seat for traveling, taking into account portability, ease of install into unknown vehicles at the other end, and how well it will work on the plane... and a lot of questions about whether to take the carseat on the plane at all, and if so, if they should get a lighter, cheaper seat for that, since it seems like overkill to lug the Britax down the aisle. But I don't see people agonizing about what seat will keep their child safest on the plane itself.

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At the same time they turn ff at 12 months which is a500% less safe.
Again, I think you're having trouble with Venn diagrams here. There's some segment of the parental population that takes carseats on the plane (which seems pretty small overall; it's large on THIS board, due to the overall focus of MDC and the particular safety angle here), and some segment (a large one) that turns FF at 12 months, but I don't think there's much overlap between those groups.

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It's all about being informed and parents get very confused when they hear one must fly with a car seat. It's not dangerous without one which all data show.
No, it's not dangerous without one. It's also not dangerous *with* one, and for a lot of reasons, you're safer if you have the seat there. The chances of a serious issue happening that make the difference for ANYONE being strapped in are small. But the chances that your toddler will freak out and will be impossible to control without a five-point harness? The chances that you will *really* have to put the baby down for some reason (like avoiding spilling hot liquids, or to go to the bathroom, or just to keep your arms from cramping up)? The chance that something untoward will happen to your carseat in the time you are separated from it if you check it? All are types of safety issues.

So I don't get why you'd get on anyone's case for saying "I always take the carseat on the plane."

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Set belt is a compromise which makes flying safer but I'm sure there are far better solutions available. It's hard to argue those should be implemented when 2 adults die during 15 years.
Exactly my point. And yet, somehow, it was decided that people riding in planes should be strapped in. If you're going to make the argument for an exemption for babies, I'd say you might as well make the argument that no one should need to wear a seat belt.

OTOH, of the people who were injured or killed due to turbulence, 6.6% received serious injuries or died, and were not wearing their seat belt. 0.4% were seriously injured *and* were wearing their seat belt. We don't know how many of the minorly injured were or were not wearing seat belts, but it seems that serious injuries or death are much more likely for those not wearing seat belts than who are (15x more likely). So my child will be buckled, regardless of age, just as I am... and until a certain age, that means bringing the carseat, since the lap belt won't fit right. What bugs you about that statement?

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I say the same as I have said many times before. There are good reasons to bring a car seat on board. Doing it PURELY for safety makes no sense since there is no safety problem despite tens or hundreds of millions of flights each year.
If it's a good idea, why do you care what reasons people have for doing it? I mean, I'm an atheist; that doesn't mean I scoff at people who do good works because they think it will get them into heaven... I just appreciate that they're doing good things, even though their motivation is different from mine.

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You're talking a lot about safety without backing it up. It's very easy, please show me some data that says flying with kids is dangerous.
No one has ever tried to say that. They've said it's safER to be buckled in during a plane flight (which statistics do show). The way you do that with babies and toddlers is with a carseat. With older kids, you can go either way, but if they need a carseat at the destination it's still safer to bring it in the cabin, just because of what can happen if you check it.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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This sounds a lot like the argument against using seat belts in cars: "If you're belted in, you can't get thrown clear of the wreck!"
I believe that "just because you are told something in training doesn't make it true" wasn't an implication that the trainers were somehow misleading people on purpose. Browse around in these forums for example after example of doctors or other figures of authority passing on misleading or downright false and dangerous information. It's rarely if ever done on purpose but sometimes people just don't know any better and their words are then taken as gospel by others that figure "well, he should know".

All it takes sometimes is one person making what they think is an offhand comment at an industry convention somewhere and it can be passed on for years as "fact". Don't fall into the trap of holding your local mainstream doctor's advice as suspect but believing everything you are told by an on the job trainer.

I'm not saying this is the case here but it can and does happen even in very serious and otherwise professional situations.

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