Lap Children at risk on Flights - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 83 Old 09-08-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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I flew with my daughter on my lap right up until the week before her second birthday. I fully understand that she would be injured or killed in the event of turbulence, but I have yet to EVER see statistics for that, as compared to her risk of being injured or killed making the same trip in a car, properly secured in her car seat. It seems logical that the chances of the second are much higher.

I also wonder what the incidence of minor injury is from infants riding in airplanes in car seats- specifically infants who refuse to suck anywhere but at the breast and injury to the eardrum if they're not able to do that.
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#62 of 83 Old 09-08-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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That is interesting.

I will admit I didn't read the entire thing.

But - I did skim the summary table - and didn't notice very many "2 unrestrained children killed" listed.

I saw alot of "There were minor injuries" and "There were no injuries" in the description or "Destroyed" listed in the Damage Category...

That still doesn't disprove the data I found - which, once again, is that 0.4 children die per year who may have been saved by being in a carseat.
Yeah, well, take from it what you will. I have seen way too many of these threads and nothing ever gets accomplished. Many people will be on the "the risk is minimal, and I'm not going to spend the extra money for the seat" side, and just as many are on the "I'm not going to risk it" side. I'm not going to argue with you.

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I fully understand that she would be injured or killed in the event of turbulence, but I have yet to EVER see statistics for that, as compared to her risk of being injured or killed making the same trip in a car, properly secured in her car seat. It seems logical that the chances of the second are much higher.
I totally agree that plane travel in general is much safer than car travel.

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#63 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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It could probably be argued that it would be MUCH safer to hire a professional driver with extensive driver's training and experience to chauffeur my child around. It's been proven that professional drivers are safer than amateurs (see stats on bus drivers, and big rig drivers - please note that taxi drivers don't in general have higher levels of training). But I haven't heard it argued that we should all pay for professionals to drive us around.
True. What I also haven't seen argued is that we should have professional drivers drive Mommy and Daddy to work, and Big Brother/Sister to school, but that any ol' person can drive Baby where s/he needs to go.

If *I* need to have a seat on the plane to be safe, then clearly, so does my baby. The difference is not safety (babies are no safer flying without assigned seats than adults are), but comfort (DH's legs fall asleep quickly if I sit on his lap).

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Dieing in a catastrophic event would still be more worrisome to me than being injured in a "survivable" crash.
No, dying wouldn't be worrisome at all to you. ;-) But probably to your family.

If you were injured in a "survivable" crash, and you (lap) baby died, that would be extremely worrisome, however. That's where I'm at: I could simply not live with myself if such a thing happened.

Also, I think the point about one's mental well-being was more about the fact that there's advantages besides safety to buying baby a seat. I know that, once my son was born, we would have had trouble getting all our baggage in the allowance for just two seats, for one thing!
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#64 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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Just curious - how much is your mental wellbeing worth?

Would you spend $1000?
Since flights from my local airport that are going to cost $1000 are at least 5 hours long, if not longer, and I have enough problems with claustraphobia already, I would definitely spend $1000 on another ticket. But since most of my flights are more in the $100 range, it's worth it to me to have the second ticket.
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#65 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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No, dying wouldn't be worrisome at all to you. ;-) But probably to your family.

If you were injured in a "survivable" crash, and you (lap) baby died, that would be extremely worrisome, however. That's where I'm at: I could simply not live with myself if such a thing happened.
This exactly. Right after DS turned 1, we flew to Scotland. We brought our carseat with every intention of using it. The only problem is that DS refused to sit in it and cried when we tried to put him in it ( we do not have a car and don't drive regularly so the seat is not that familiar to him). He sat in our laps the whole flight. I would've preferred that he was in his seat where it was safer. Everytime we hit any turbulence, I got really nervous.
IMO, one child being injured or worse, dying, in turbulence or a plane crash is enough for me.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#66 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 10:20 AM
 
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One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that unrestrained children become projectiles in crashes or severe turbulence. Not only is your unrestrained child in danger, but so are you and other people on the plane.

I know it costs more to buy tickets for everybody. But families with children over two simply have to buy tickets or not fly. I wish that was the rule for everybody.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#67 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 11:42 AM
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I know it costs more to buy tickets for everybody. But families with children over two simply have to buy tickets or not fly. I wish that was the rule for everybody.
The question isn't so much buying the extra seat - as it is also using a carseat in that seat.

The question is 2 fold.
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#68 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 12:20 PM
 
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The question isn't so much buying the extra seat - as it is also using a carseat in that seat.

The question is 2 fold.
Even 3-fold. You also need to use the seat. A child 0-24 months is not very likely to happily stay in a carseat for hours.

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#69 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 12:36 PM
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Even 3-fold. You also need to use the seat. A child 0-24 months is not very likely to happily stay in a carseat for hours.

Carma
Which is where I come back to making a 'reasonable' choice about how I spend my money.

Until recently - it would have been VERY unlikely that DD would have done anything but scream if put in her carseat on a plane. I don't do CIO. I don't do it EVER. If I'm driving and she freaks out - we pull over to take her out of the carseat and calm her down. It's been close to a year since we've had to do it - but it was a daily occurance as an infant.

So - she wouldn't have stayed in the carseat on a plane. So - how would it have helped?

The dangerous kind of turbulence is the kind that's sudden. You don't get any warning. So it's not like there'd be time to buckle the baby back up.
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#70 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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So - she wouldn't have stayed in the carseat on a plane. So - how would it have helped?

The dangerous kind of turbulence is the kind that's sudden. You don't get any warning. So it's not like there'd be time to buckle the baby back up.
There are things like wind conditions, clouds etc and other planes in the area generally warn each other. Not that it can't happen of course, but I feel fine taking them out of their car seats during the trip. The vast majority of crashes occur at takeoff and landing. We just flew the other day and I let them both out of their seats to use the potty and look out the windows, and on our second leg I took DD2 out of her seat to nurse her to sleep after we were in the air. I am not a CIO-advocating mama who lets her hungry kids sit in poopy diapers for 12 hours as has been insinuated before

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#71 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Even 3-fold. You also need to use the seat. A child 0-24 months is not very likely to happily stay in a carseat for hours.

Carma

that may be the case for your child but my son has flown twice and been perfectly happy sitting in his car seat. it was familiar to him and its comfortable for him. he was good.

i dont CIO either; nor do i let my kid sit in a dirty diaper.

i just dont get the arguments.....after 2 you have to buy a ticket. i dont get why not before 2. and thats really all it comes down to. once the child hits 2, its a paid ticket. why not 3??? or 4? they can sit in your lap at those ages too.
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#72 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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Before 2 it is still relative comfortable to have them in your lap. We also flew several times and at 4/5 months my children did not want to sit in a car seat very long, especially when they see me sitting right next to them, they wanted to sit with me. I found it less comfortable to have a lap child after ~12 months, so we got the extra seat. But still we needed to get them out of the seat several times in the 8 hour flight.
The problem is that a seat is so expensive nowadays.

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#73 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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I bought a car seat for my daughter one time when she was under 2. She spent the whole flight on my lap, much of the time nursing. She even spent the time going up and down nursing because her ears hurt.

Yes there is a very slight risk to a child on a commercial airplane, but I don't see it as significant. I even had her on a flight with significant turbulence. My husband and I took turns holding her. She was fine.

I now let my daughter climb trees and jump on trampolines, both of which have a higher risk than an infant or toddler has flying on a commercial flight on a lap.

I will pay a lot of money for a car seat to use in the car. I've personally been in three or four car crashes in my life that probably would have killed a child who wasn't properly restrained in a car seat. (None with my daughter thank goodness so it wasn't tested.) Anyone who drives regularly will be in an accident at some point. Probably more than once. It isn't a case of if, it's a case of when. That's an entirely different issue IMO.
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#74 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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Since flights from my local airport that are going to cost $1000 are at least 5 hours long, if not longer, and I have enough problems with claustraphobia already, I would definitely spend $1000 on another ticket. But since most of my flights are more in the $100 range, it's worth it to me to have the second ticket.
100$ just curios but where are you flying to for 100$ I have not seen a flight near that price in ages.
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#75 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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I flew with my 6 week old, she had her own seat, in a car seat for most of the flights (2 each way!) because she was asleep. Sure, I took her out and held her when I needed to, but when we ran into some rough air you can bet she was safely restrained in her seat.

Yeah, it was an extra $400, but to me that's just the price of having a child and vacationing with her. We're flying with her again in December and again she'll have her own seat. There are no questions asked in my family about a baby getting her own seat, it's just what is done! It might not statistically make a huge difference for her to have her own seat, but the piece of mind it gives me makes me feel a lot better.
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#76 of 83 Old 09-09-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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100$ just curios but where are you flying to for 100$ I have not seen a flight near that price in ages.
I just bought 2 tickets for $98/ea from Seattle to Phoenix. I also flew on Alaska Airlines from Phx-Sea for $100 (and DD1's seat was $50) just before Christmas, which was peak season. There still are some cheap fares out there

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#77 of 83 Old 09-10-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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The problem is that a seat is so expensive nowadays.
The seat is no more expensive for baby than for anyone else in the family, though (and sometimes is cheaper).
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#78 of 83 Old 09-10-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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Yes, plane travel is very safe compared to car travel.

I still fasten my seat belt all the time I'm seated on the plane, and I stay in my seat as much as I can without risking my health. I've never seen anyone argue that planes shouldn't require seat belts, or that they should take out the seats and just use toss pillows so people can stretch out more comfortably and they can put more people on the plane.

And it's really difficult for me to fathom why, if it's required for *me*, I should make an exception for my baby. I get that people would make the decision that they couldn't afford to fly if they had to buy a ticket... but, if that was my situation, then duh! I can't afford to fly! No different if we couldn't afford a ticket for my husband or my over-2 child. If we can't afford tickets for everyone in the family, we can't afford to go. That's how it works.

It's not any safer for an under-2 to be without a proper seat on a plane than it is for someone over-2. It's just more feasible for them to sit on someone's lap.
Agreed!

I've flown with my daughter twice, and have 2 more plane trips planned in the next 3 months. She will be in a carseat for all of them as much as is feasible, and every take off and landing. I'm not worried about a severe crash; I'm worried about protecting her from turbulance and from a possible bumpy take off or landing. I've been in flights with severe turbulance, and I can't imagine not having a safe place for DD if/when that happens.

Sure, flying is ALWAYS safer than being in a car, but I find it an odd comparison. Just because it's safer doesn't mean I don't want to make DD as safe as is feasible when we fly.
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#79 of 83 Old 09-10-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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100$ just curios but where are you flying to for 100$ I have not seen a flight near that price in ages.
We are flying from Northern California to Seattle next month for $77 per person. Cheap flights are still out there. They're just a lot fewer and farther between!
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#80 of 83 Old 09-10-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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My kids have both been lap kids at some point. I put them in the seatbelt with me which I am sure is not that safe but in turbulence at least they wouldnt fling up and whack their heads or something. I'm kind of in the camp that if we are going down at 35,000 ft we are all going to die regardless of what type of chair they have.

Now its a non-issue as they are both too old to be lap kids.

I hate flying in general, I just flew on my 4th flight in 3.5 weeks (I'm a wedding photographer) and I never get used to it. LOL I do like the kids being in their own seat (they came on 2 of those flights with me.)

If you are in a major city you should check out Virgin America. They have monitors on all the seats for kids to play games or watch cartoons. They have laptop plugs at every seat too. I really liked them. They were cheap too.

Desiree

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#81 of 83 Old 09-13-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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I think this post has been very informative. I have been exposed to specific stats. I totally respect those who fly with lap babies. They are definitely not taking a crazy risk or anything. I think most of us agree that flying with a lap baby is safer than driving.

I almost always buy a seat for my babies. The one time I didn't, it was very uncomfortable. My then 9 month old was not happy in my lap unless she was nursing. She was uncomfortable. She was much more comfortable in her carseat. I was also angry and agitated about being told there was not an extra seat for her and then taking off in a plane that was half empty. For my next trip I was weighing whether or not I would buy a seat for her. Having her be safer is a plus of course. But the deciding factor for me was my peace of mind and her comfort. I spent $350 for that flight. I was probably paying $150 for extra safety and $200 for our sanity. I think if my baby hated her carseat and was happy sitting in my lap during flights, I would not buy a seat for her.

We are thinking of flying to Germany to visit relatives. That will be a hefty ticket. I definitely plan to buy a seat for the baby and the factors are the same as above-part safety, part mental and physical comfort.

I wonder, do those of you who are calling this article scare tactics respect my choice of buying a seat? Specifically, Kiera, why are you so worked up about this? It seems so much like an either or situation to me. I think you provide great info to help others make an informed decision. But I also feel as if you think those who make the opposite decision then you are being foolish...
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#82 of 83 Old 09-13-2008, 12:20 PM
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I wonder, do those of you who are calling this article scare tactics respect my choice of buying a seat? Specifically, Kiera, why are you so worked up about this? It seems so much like an either or situation to me. I think you provide great info to help others make an informed decision. But I also feel as if you think those who make the opposite decision then you are being foolish...
I completely respect your choice to do as you see fit. Why wouldn't I?

Do I think it's a waste of money - yes. But it's your money to waste.

I think that the answer is so much more complicated than "It's safer to use a carseat - so everyone should"...

At 9 months, the only way my DD didn't scream until she puked (within 5 minutes or so) when strapped into a carseat was if she either fell asleep because we did it at naptime, or one of us sat next to her and we played a specific loud rock music CD. And that might get us 20 minutes.

So - I object to the insinuation that I'm a bad/negligent mom for making the choice that I did.

I looked up the stats and found that the risks involved were VERY VERY small. The cab ride (with a carseat) out to the airport was far more risky. I was happy to take that risk.

I do think that the article is one written without actual information meant to scare parents into buying seats and using carseats for their small ones. I am a BIG believer is providing people with facts and letting them make their own choices. And the article doesn't do that. It sounds just like many anti-cosleeping articles I've read. "Don't do it - your baby could DIE!!!!!!"
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#83 of 83 Old 09-13-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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Oh, I see. I am sorry that I suspected you were being disrespectful. It seems you are just feeling defensive. But please don't. I respect your position and I bet most of us do. If I had a kid that hated her carseat I would make the same choice as you. So I can imagine being in the same boat as you but I don't think I would feel the need to be so defensive about that article. I did not feel that it condemned parents for flying with lapbabies. It did state that lap babies are safer than babies travelling by car in carseats, afterall. I think a lot of parents simply do not know that flying in carseats is safer than flying with lap babies (even if just incrementally you should admit) and the article is trying to be informative on that point. But you have made me come around to the fact that that article isn't very good at reaching its goal. I like your analogy with the cosleeping articles.

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I completely respect your choice to do as you see fit. Why wouldn't I?

Do I think it's a waste of money - yes. But it's your money to waste.

I think that the answer is so much more complicated than "It's safer to use a carseat - so everyone should"...

At 9 months, the only way my DD didn't scream until she puked (within 5 minutes or so) when strapped into a carseat was if she either fell asleep because we did it at naptime, or one of us sat next to her and we played a specific loud rock music CD. And that might get us 20 minutes.

So - I object to the insinuation that I'm a bad/negligent mom for making the choice that I did.

I looked up the stats and found that the risks involved were VERY VERY small. The cab ride (with a carseat) out to the airport was far more risky. I was happy to take that risk.

I do think that the article is one written without actual information meant to scare parents into buying seats and using carseats for their small ones. I am a BIG believer is providing people with facts and letting them make their own choices. And the article doesn't do that. It sounds just like many anti-cosleeping articles I've read. "Don't do it - your baby could DIE!!!!!!"
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