s/o airline safety. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-20-2007, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm starting this thread so as not to derail the original thread.

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Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
How are you getting there? If you are getting there by plane you need to purchase a seat and place your baby in an appropriate rear-facing carseat. Lap Babies, contrary to popular opinion, are NOT safe. There have been several cases of lap babies being killed and more of severe, life-altering injuries, in rough turbulence or in rough landings where everyone else walked away. The FAA and the AAP both advise to ALWAYS place children under four years and forty pounds in an FAA approved seat and to NEVER do the Lap Baby thing.
Do you have any evidence to back up the babies being killed/maimed? That is quite a claim to make, and I would like to see evidence to back this up.

I found the AAP statement agreeing with your claim http://aapnews.aappublications.org/c...tract/14/8/5-a

Just wondering about any news stories.

Note: I am not taking "issue" with any one poster, rather searching for information about this.
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#2 of 11 Old 08-20-2007, 04:37 PM
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Oh, I have tons of links :


Start here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=rC4Q3ofz7SI

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#3 of 11 Old 08-20-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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For the same reason that children are not allowed to be held in a car is the same reason that children should not be "lap babies." The forces exerted by the sudden deceleration combined with the weight of the baby makes it virtually impossible to maintain holding the baby.

Granted, I don't think it is completely necessary for the entire flight for a baby to be in its seat. Following the rules of the seat belt lights, just as other passengers are required to do, should be the times that baby must be belted in their seat. OTOH, there is the rare risk of clear air turbulence to consider.

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#4 of 11 Old 08-20-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Oh, I have tons of links :


Start here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=rC4Q3ofz7SI

Warning, have your hanky handy

Wow! Seeing that again brings back all those old fears I had of flying. I remember this crash. I was in Chicago (from LA) visiting my grandparents for the summer. I think I was 10 years old.

This is exactly why I will never fly without my DD in her OWN car seat.
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#5 of 11 Old 08-20-2007, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok. Enough. Thank you for the link. I am VERY grateful that it came from a source I believe to be credible (not doubting you) but I do trust National Geographic.

I will be buying DD her own seat if I get to travel in October.
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#6 of 11 Old 08-21-2007, 03:58 PM
 
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I use to be one of the moms who traveled with their babies in their lap, but after discussion on MDC, I have decided the next time I fly with dd, I will have her in a seat, but my DH and mother need more convincing. I will look at the link that was posted.

But why do they allow a child to be in the lap if it is so unsafe? Why don't they just make in mandatory for an infant to be in a carseat, just like it's the law in the car?
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#7 of 11 Old 08-21-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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That is a FABULOUS question! I wish they would! Come to think of it, there are a LOT of child safety laws that I wish they would make. We can start with "everyone rides rearfacing until 30 pounds"...
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#8 of 11 Old 08-21-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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There is a good discussion I read recently, might have been on the WindsorPeak board, about how the suggestion has been strongly made to the FAA but they choose to not make it a policy. The reasoning is that the airlines are fighting it because if they were to mandate one person = one seat, then they fear they would lose revenue from people who would refuse to fly if they had to pay for the baby a seat. Never mind that restaurants have long proven the "reduced kid's dinners = more adult dinners" business model. But it boils down to MONEY, as so many things do.

From a statistical standpoint, flying is super safe...much, much moreso than the equivalent amount of time in an automobile. Ergo, the likelihood of *needing* infant restraint is very low. However, in the event of a survivable crash situation, it isn't feasible to presume that one can simply hold on to their lap child.

So, the airlines play the numbers game...and it really is in their favor. From my perspective, however, allowing parents to purchase reduced fare tickets for their children (when accompanied by parents/guardians) would go a long way in helping tip the scales in the direction of requiring car seats during air travel.

And yet there are more than just "crashes" to consider. There are hard landings, missed approaches, run-offs from the runway, crazy turbulence, etc. While I haven't flown enough to be considered a "frequent flier" I have been onboard during two aborted landings (scary) and an aborted takeoff (scarier). In two of those situations there were extreme maneuvers one doesn't typical encounter on the average flight. I wasn't traveling with children at the time, but in both of those incidents I would have been grateful for the extra safety of restrained children.

The seats are safer, but the number of incidents are so low that the airlines can get away with not mandating the restraints.

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#9 of 11 Old 08-22-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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Is there anyone to contact or ways to lobby sign a petition saying people would still be willing to fly with children if they could get discount? I definately agree that free/reduced kids meals brings in more customers. I think most people are willing to travel with kids for short durations versus the long drives it takes to get most places.
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#10 of 11 Old 08-22-2007, 01:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkHorseMama View Post

And yet there are more than just "crashes" to consider. There are hard landings, missed approaches, run-offs from the runway, crazy turbulence, etc.
This is the part that I use to argue for seats for babies. Crashes are one thing, all of the above happen much more frequently and the risk to a lap baby is much higher. You can do searches on MDC for past threads on this topic, there are lots of them, with lots and lots of great links and articles, I know, I have posted many. The FA on that Sioux City flight became a spokesperson for the organization that is trying to mandate seats for babies and young children. I found her experience compelling.
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#11 of 11 Old 08-24-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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The NG video is very compelling.

For a few more actual real-life incidences, here are two documents to check out:

The National Transportation Safety Board's Safety Recommendation A-90-78 available online at http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/letters/1990/a90_78_79.pdf

"On January 20, 1990, an American Airlines DC-10 encountered turbulence near San Juan, Puerto Rico. The seat belt sign was on. Preliminary investigation revealed that an unrestrained 7-week-old infant sustained serious head injuries and was hospitalized with a fractured occipital bone, subdural hemorrage, and intra-cranial bleeding. The infant was the only occupant who sustained serious injuries."

The document is worth a read. I quoted the above specifically as it deals with a child severely injured due to in-flight turbulence alone. Most of the other case studies deal with survivable emergency and crash landings; details are provided of lap-infant fatalities in cases where the mother survived. In the summary of the document, the NTSB recommends that "[the FAA] require that all occupants be restrained during takeoff, landing, and turbulent conditions, and that all infants and small children below the weight of 40 pounds and under the height of 40 inches be restrained in an approved child restraint system appropriate to their height and weight."

The AAP gives some statistics in this linked publication, and summarizes with the following:


"A child on the lap of an adult cannot be effectively restrained in a motor vehicle or aircraft crash. … Hazards associated with the on-lap position are also well documented in aircraft crash investigations. Three children on the laps of adults were fatally injured and others nonfatally injured in the 1987 crash in Denver, CO, the 1989 crash in Sioux City, IA, and the 1994 crash in Charlotte, NC which were all caused by turbulence. The NTSB has reported 2 crashes in which CSSs were used and provided protection to children."

http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...s%3b108/5/1218

The FAA, AAP and the NTSB all agree that children belong in child-specific restraints on airplanes.[/quote]
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