4.5 year old on a plane w/o car seat and Avenue ? - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > 4.5 year old on a plane w/o car seat and Avenue ?
azgirl's Avatar azgirl 11:05 AM 07-09-2012

I need expert opinions! 

We fly a lot with our now 4.5 year old. 5-10X a year. We have gotten a lot of use out of our Safety 1st Avenue (now discontinued?? I tried to find info on the Safety 1st website...) I don't have the seat or manual here with me, so that's why I need that info :)

 

DS is 38" tall and weighs 30 lbs. He is happy RF in his Radian in our cars. We would be comfortable FF him and we are okay with him FF in airplanes. We are spending the summer in a different city and we drove here. We did not think to bring our airplane car seat...and now we need to fly home. We are in a unique-for-us situation of having an installed Radian to pick us up at our destination so...we are considering not taking a carseat on the plane but coming back with the Avenue.

 

Can he just go without? Do I buy a Cares harness? It will only be used once because we normally have to travel with a carseat on the plane so we can guarantee a safe carseat for our destination...

 

Also, I got it in my head that DS had outgrown the Avenue by height. Has he actually only outgrown the RF limit? If so we don't need a new air-travel seat. I can't find height info online but 36" is stuck in my head. It may be the RF limit only, though.

 

If we need a new air-travel seat anyway, I was going to purchase the Maestro, have it shipped here and then take it on the plane because we will need a travel carseat for a few more years. 

 

DH does not want to take the Radian on the plane. 

 

Thank you so much for any and all advice on this! 



Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 03:13 PM 07-10-2012

I would just use the lap belt. A plane isn't like a car and the same level of protection really isn't needed. The mostly likely thing to happen in a plane is a sudden lose  of altitude, and a lap belt works fine for that.
 


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 06:44 AM 07-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I would just use the lap belt. A plane isn't like a car and the same level of protection really isn't needed. The mostly likely thing to happen in a plane is a sudden lose  of altitude, and a lap belt works fine for that.
 

This is not correct at all.   The lap belt cannot safely restrain a child under 40 lbs.  The FAA is very clear about this; all children under 40 lbs need to be in an approved child restraint.   

 

A plane isn't like a car yes.  IT'S A LOT WORSE.   A lap belt is unlikely to keep a 30 lb child restrained in turbulence.  

 

Furthermore, runway crashes, which are entirely survivable if you're restrained correctly, can cause serious injury to small children who by definition are not correctly restrained.  You're speeding at 150 mph on a runway.  This is faster than any car. 


azgirl's Avatar azgirl 08:46 AM 07-11-2012

Maedze-you really did not reply to my post at all which would have been helpful. Is the CARES harness a good option? 


Boot's Avatar Boot 09:12 AM 07-11-2012

I don't know anything about the avenue but 36" sounds like a rf limit. If he is within the ff weight limit and his shoulders are still at or under the straps, I would go with that. I don't think it's worth buying a cares for one flight. 


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 11:30 AM 07-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

The lap belt cannot safely restrain a child under 40 lbs.  The FAA is very clear about this; all children under 40 lbs need to be in an approved child restraint.   

 

...   A lap belt is unlikely to keep a 30 lb child restrained in turbulence.  

 

 

link please. smile.gif

 

My kids are older, and this wasn't the case when they were small. After reading your post, I wondered if things had changed so I did a quick search and was unable to find anything to back up your statements.

 

I did find FAA about what kind of restraints are required IF kids are in restrains, but nothing saying that it is required or that the lap belt won't work.

 

My DH is an aerospace engineer who has observed safety testing of airplane seats as part of his job, and he was completely fine with our kids in a lap belt fastened snugly at this age/size. He was confident that it would keep them from hitting the ceiling, which is the primary concern.


brigala's Avatar brigala 12:23 PM 07-11-2012

You might consider a Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport. It is similar to the Avenue, but taller and with higher weight limits. You should be able to pick one up at Walmart for about $79. It is also available at Babies R Us under the name "S1 Easy Fit 65" or Target under the name "Eddie Bauer XRS 65" but the price tags are higher (they are different trim packages of the same basic seat). 

 

By height, it won't last as long as a Maestro, but honestly for such a petite child I wouldn't worry about that. By the time the Guide 65 Sport is outgrown you'll probably want to use a high back booster anyway. He should easily be able to ride in it until he hits the magical 40 lb mark that is often cited as the size guideline for being safe in a booster seat (or an airplane lap belt).

 

The Guide 65 is narrower than the Maestro and should be a better/easier/more-comfortable fit on the airplane.

 

It's lightweight, very similar to the Avenue.

 

It can rear-face to 40" tall and 40 lbs. So if you want to use it RF for a while longer, you have the flexibility to do so.


azgirl's Avatar azgirl 12:32 PM 07-11-2012

meh. Found it. FAA recommends a FF CRS for kiddos weighing 20-40 lbs. Off to buy a Maestro or the Guide 65 Sport (Thanks, brigala!!)  I guess. It turns out the CARES will probably not help too much because DS is so slim and narrow. The Maestro costs less anyway...

 

http://www.faa.gov/passengers/media/childsafety.pdf


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 02:06 PM 07-11-2012

Please read the FAA information on the subject, as well as the NHTSA information and the AAP information.    I really don't care what your dad was 'fine' with.     I deal with engineers fairly frequently at my checkpoint.  Out of all professions I've anecdotally noticed engineers are the ones with the most egregious child safety restraint errors.    

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

link please. smile.gif

 

My kids are older, and this wasn't the case when they were small. After reading your post, I wondered if things had changed so I did a quick search and was unable to find anything to back up your statements.

 

I did find FAA about what kind of restraints are required IF kids are in restrains, but nothing saying that it is required or that the lap belt won't work.

 

My DH is an aerospace engineer who has observed safety testing of airplane seats as part of his job, and he was completely fine with our kids in a lap belt fastened snugly at this age/size. He was confident that it would keep them from hitting the ceiling, which is the primary concern.


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 02:07 PM 07-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by azgirl View Post

Maedze-you really did not reply to my post at all which would have been helpful. Is the CARES harness a good option? 

 

 

I intended to come back to this, I only had a moment to correct the egregious misinformation offered by another person.   Glad you were able to find the answer.   As you've correctly surmised the CARES probably won't work well for you.  I've used one and it worked well in our situation but there's really a very narrow bracket of applicability for the CARES harness. 


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 03:42 PM 07-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Please read the FAA information on the subject, as well as the NHTSA information and the AAP information.    I really don't care what your dad was 'fine' with.     I deal with engineers fairly frequently at my checkpoint.  Out of all professions I've anecdotally noticed engineers are the ones with the most egregious child safety restraint errors.    

 

 

Although the FAA recommends a car seat restraint, they don't require it. No where in the linked information are the claims that you made backed up. If you have a link that says that a lap belt will not work for a 30 pound child on a plane, I would still love to see it. Honestly. The link above says no such thing.

 

DH stands for Dear Husband.


Maedze's Avatar Maedze 05:20 AM 07-12-2012

Please google the FAA recommendations on child restraints.       The FAA, the AAP and NHTSA are all very clear.     And I never said it was 'legally required.    Just because it is not the law does not make it safe, or smart.  

Perhaps you should leave child transport ion recommendations to the people who are trained to make them, hmmm? Particularly if you are going to endanger children by making claims that are counter to all known research on the subject. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

Although the FAA recommends a car seat restraint, they don't require it. No where in the linked information are the claims that you made backed up. If you have a link that says that a lap belt will not work for a 30 pound child on a plane, I would still love to see it. Honestly. The link above says no such thing.

 

DH stands for Dear Husband.


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 12:54 PM 07-12-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Please google the FAA recommendations on child restraints.      

 

After reading your first post in this thread, I did. I wondered if the information and research had changed since my kids were small. I could not find anything to back up the extreme statements you are making.

 

And I suspect that you can't either or you would post a link.

 

The FAA is clear about restraints are to be used IF they are being used and what restraints are not allowed even though they are safe in cars, but I can't find anything that backs up your statements such as   "A lap belt is unlikely to keep a 30 lb child restrained in turbulence."

 

As far as attacking me as as not qualified, this is a mothering board where mothers share what works for them and what they have researched, so I'm as qualified as anyone else.

 

And honestly, since I live with someone who works in this field, regularly interfaces with the FAA,and has observed safety testing of airplane seats, I'm more qualified than most of the moms on this board. That doesn't mean that I know everything, and I'm quite happy to learn more. If you have links that back up what you are saying, I really would be interested.

 

But otherwise, I'm done with the thread. I suspect that at this point, this isn't helpful to the OPer or others.


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