Lap Children at risk on Flights - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.usatoday.com/printedition...cgee18.art.htm

its nice to see this article in a major newspaper.

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Adults traveling with babies may have no idea how dangerous it is to allow infants and toddlers to fly on commercial airline flights as "lap children."
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#2 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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Great article! To the point, simple, "Here's why, and here's how" piece.

I wonder if it can get added to the Airline Safety sticky?
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#3 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 08:56 PM
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What an awful fear mongering article!

The actual rates of children being hurt because they aren't restrained is VERY VERY VERY low.

If they want to convince people to buy tickets - they need to put out actual numbers which show that there is a real danger which is more than some minuscule amount.
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#4 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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And some airlines, I think American was one of them, will not let you use your carseat in an empty seat unless you buy a ticket.
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#5 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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Riiight.

Because a car seat is going to save a baby from a plane crash from 35,000 feet.
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#6 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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yeah i find it fear mongering too. no actual statistics.
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#7 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LadyAlathia View Post
Riiight.

Because a car seat is going to save a baby from a plane crash from 35,000 feet.
No, but it will save a child from severe turbulence and crash landings like the crash landing in Sioux City that was mentioned in the story.

My sister's neighbor is a flight attendant and she finds it absolutely absurd that during turbulence, she is required to have everything in the cabin stored and secured except for the most vulnerable passengers. She has to secure plastic cups and napkins for godsakes...

That being said, I do believe that it is generally safer to fly with an infant on your lap than to do long drive with your child in a car seat. However, when flying, it is safer to do it in a car seat and babies lives will be saved. I find the cavalier response to this article by some alarming. I respect mothers who have weighed the risks and benefits and chose to fly with baby in their lap but this doesn't mean there are no risks.

And the article clearly states that the FAA also belives lap babies are safer than those in car seats driving. That side of the argument WAS represented in the article.
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#8 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:38 PM
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yeah i find it fear mongering too. no actual statistics.
My 21mo is RFing even though she could be FFing. Why? Because there are clear stats that indicate that it's significantly safer.

She will fly on my lap if we go anywhere in the next 3 months because there is no data that says there is anything more than a minuscule safety increase.

When she's 2? We'll have to buy a seat. Will we use a carseat then? Don't know yet - but it's likely because it would help her sit still.
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#9 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:39 PM
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That being said, I do believe that it is generally safer to fly with an infant on your lap than to do long drive with your child in a car seat.
ALL of the stats I've seen say that it's 100X safer to fly with a lap baby than drive the same distance with them in a carseat!
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#10 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by beru View Post
I find the cavalier response to this article by some alarming. I respect mothers who have weighed the risks and benefits and chose to fly with baby in their lap but this doesn't mean there are no risks.

And the article clearly states that the FAA also belives lap babies are safer than those in car seats driving. That side of the argument WAS represented in the article.
thank you. I think the issue is important to get out there. what ppl do w/ the information is up to them. after the things i have read about lap babies, there is no way i will travel w/o having a seat for my child(ren).
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#11 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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That being said, I do believe that it is generally safer to fly with an infant on your lap than to do long drive with your child in a car seat.

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Originally Posted by Kiera09 View Post
ALL of the stats I've seen say that it's 100X safer to fly with a lap baby than drive the same distance with them in a carseat!
Did you misunderstand me? I do agree with you on that point. I just thought it was common sense but I haven't seen statistics. Where do I find them?
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#12 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 09:57 PM
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This site has the rates for motor vehicles:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_00015.htm

It lists the Fatality Rates per 100 Million Passenger-Mile as 0.93

From what I remember (and I can't find it right now) the number for airplanes is 0.02...

From an article advocating carseats on airplanes by the AAFP: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20040501/tips/14.html

Quote:
The use of child safety restraint systems for airplane travel would prevent about 0.4 child air-crash deaths per year.
Quote:
The authors conclude that a policy requiring the use of child safety restraint systems for children younger than two years during air travel could result in a net increase in deaths and injuries in this age group if the cost of the seats is high enough that most families divert to car travel to save money.
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#13 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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One accident in 1989, Im not convinced sorry.
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#14 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:19 PM
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Here's the NTSB data from 1988 to 2007 for airplane travel:

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Table5.htm
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#15 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:22 PM
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Here's another site that compares airplanes with cars...

http://www.airlines.org/economics/sp...ine+Safety.htm

I will admit that it is put out by the airline industry - so take from it what you will.
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#16 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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While I agree an article isn't worth a whole lot without statistics... I doubt one person in 20 years is the extent of it.

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/271593 An article from last year about a little girl surviving a plane crash in her carseat.

In a totally fatal crash is it going to make a difference... nope... some crashes (and car accidents FWIW) are totally unsurvivable. But could it during turbulence, or a crash like the above. It could. And btw I'm not just talking lives, injuries could be prevented too.

Now, all that said, is it common? Nope. Is it safer than a car... absolutely. But it IS worth being informed that it's a risk... some people just don't even think about it. Think that because under two year olds can be lap babies that they'd definitely be able to protect them on their own. Which may be true most of the time, but making an informed decisions knowing what could happen is not a bad thing.

Buying a new seat for a 3 year old who has hit the 33lbs weight limit rearfacing to keep them rearfacing an extra 2lbs might be seen as extreme by some, since forward facing is a valid option at that age and weight... but it is safer, and that is worth knowing when you make your decision.

If it even for example saved one life every 10 years and that was your child... well for me I'd at least like to know it's a possibility and make the call myself.

Alison
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#17 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by triscuitsmom View Post
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/271593 An article from last year about a little girl surviving a plane crash in her carseat.
GA - or General Aviation - which covers non comercial or military flights - is COMPLETELY different from commercial air travel:

http://www.meretrix.com/~harry/flyin...vsdriving.html

Quote:
Let's compare the rate of fatal accidents to the amount of flying/driving done.

For GA, there were 11.2 fatal accidents and 19.7 fatalities per million hours of flying.

For motor vehicles, there were 1.32 fatal accidents and 1.47 fatalities per 100M miles.
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Buying a new seat for a 3 year old who has hit the 33lbs weight limit rearfacing to keep them rearfacing an extra 2lbs might be seen as extreme by some, since forward facing is a valid option at that age and weight... but it is safer, and that is worth knowing when you make your decision.
That's an extra cost that gets used daily - and has a PROVABLE benefit to the child.

The number of children who die every year in car crashes is HUGE compared with the number of children who die every year in "survivable" air crashes.

I think that trying to compare the 2 is a false argument.
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#18 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama View Post
yeah i find it fear mongering too. no actual statistics.
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Originally Posted by LadyAlathia View Post
Riiight.

Because a car seat is going to save a baby from a plane crash from 35,000 feet.
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Originally Posted by Kiera09 View Post
What an awful fear mongering article!

The actual rates of children being hurt because they aren't restrained is VERY VERY VERY low.

If they want to convince people to buy tickets - they need to put out actual numbers which show that there is a real danger which is more than some minuscule amount.
: I have to agree with the above. This is just trying to but fear into people to buy tickets, wouldn't the plane companies like that (like crib companies wants us to buy cribs). And as it mentioned more people might start to drive and there is more fatal accidents when driving.

Those who feel so strongly against it always has that option to buy that ticket and bring a carseat, but to force it on everybody is a different thing.

Yes being inform is good so people can make the decision, but from what I hear/notice people are being more scared into it or told they don't love their children because of it that's using a whole different strategy to me.

What about public buses and trains now..I figure they would be more 'dangerous' to ride w/o carseats...
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#19 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kiera09 View Post
That's an extra cost that gets used daily - and has a PROVABLE benefit to the child.

The number of children who die every year in car crashes is HUGE compared with the number of children who die every year in "survivable" air crashes.

I think that trying to compare the 2 is a false argument.
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Those who feel so strongly against it always has that option to buy that ticket and bring a carseat, but to force it on everybody when the rates or so low....
Just to clarify my above post... I don't think the risk is the same (% wise) as rearfacing in a car... I'm only saying that there are lots of parents who don't there is a risk at all to either, and I think the call should be made based on knowledge that there is a risk, however small.

FWIW, I feel the same about cribs vs cosleeping, or whatever other argument you have. It's not that the risks are the same for them all, I'm saying that it should be known that there is a risk and then the parents make the call.

And I agree about forcing it... I will always buy a seat for my under two child, and bring a seat. I would NEVER want it forced. The risk to that would be too great. Education yes... mandatory laws, no.

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#20 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:52 PM
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What about public buses and trains now..I figure they would be more 'dangerous' to ride w/o carseats...
I believe that public buses and airplanes have a similar death rate - which is 0.02 deaths per million miles traveled or something...

So - we should retrofit all buses to allow for carseats to be used and require that all people use them... And we should hold up all buses so that people can properly install carseats for a 5 minute ride.
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#21 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:54 PM
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And I agree about forcing it... I will always buy a seat for my under two child, and bring a seat. I would NEVER want it forced. The risk to that would be too great. Education yes... mandatory laws, no.
What I find interesting is that I'm very likely to bring a car seat for my OVER 2. Since she would be sitting in her own seat and more likely need to be restrained in some way.
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#22 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:56 PM
 
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What I find interesting is that I'm very likely to bring a car seat for my OVER 2. Since she would be sitting in her own seat and more likely need to be restrained in some way.
*nods* me too. My child will be in their carseat in the airplane same as in the car... to what limit I don't know except that it will be sometime before booster age because they aren't allowed on flights.

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#23 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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for me, this isnt about driving vs. flying. when i travel, the cost of a ticket for a baby is not going to make me chose driving over flying. for me, its about flying w/ an under 2 yo WITH a car seat or WITHOUT a car seat.

that is what i am comparing...not flying vs. driving.

i also dont think it should be mandatory..but i do think ppl should understand that there are risks.

of course, im one of those who was going to buy another seat for my 2 yo that was about to hit the 33 lb. RF'ing limit...for those extra 2 lbs.

so you can take that for what its worth i guess.
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#24 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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yes i understand that there are risks. there are risks to crossing the street. people should be informed of the actual risk, and informed decisions should be respected.
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#25 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 11:03 PM
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I guess it might depend on where you live.

I am unlikely to fly anywhere which would cost less than $750/seat with all the stuff included...

So - needing to buy a seat for my under-2 would be a significant cost.

Buying another car seat for $200, while also a major chunk of change, would be far less of a burden - and we'd get daily use out of it. She's in the car for over an hour every day if it's just a to work/daycare day - and longer if it's a day where we go somewhere. And the seat would last for a much longer period of time. It would also increase her safety significantly.
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#26 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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yes i understand that there are risks. there are risks to crossing the street. people should be informed of the actual risk, and informed decisions should be respected.
*nods* agree with this.

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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#27 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 11:11 PM
 
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I guess it might depend on where you live.

I am unlikely to fly anywhere which would cost less than $750/seat with all the stuff included...

So - needing to buy a seat for my under-2 would be a significant cost.

Buying another car seat for $200, while also a major chunk of change, would be far less of a burden - and we'd get daily use out of it. She's in the car for over an hour every day if it's just a to work/daycare day - and longer if it's a day where we go somewhere. And the seat would last for a much longer period of time. It would also increase her safety significantly.
*nods* I'll admit the seat to fly out east and see my DP family was much less than that though still more than a new carseat. I will be making one trip that will be significantly more than that, but if it were a regular thing I might be considering it differently.

I don't think you can make a wrong choice here. I think as long as you know that there is a (very small) risk of death and a (higher, but still quite low) risk of injury that regardless of what your decision is it's not wrong. Especially considering the actual statistics and then comparing them to cars (if that is your other option, which is wasn't for us but I understand it could be).

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#28 of 83 Old 09-06-2008, 11:20 PM
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I fully accept that there is an incredible minuscule chance that we might end up on a flight where something happens and DD could be injured or die.

It's a tiny tiny chance. - But it could happen.

I also understand that the very act of going back to work full time so that she ends up in daycare means that we have significantly increased her risk of dieing in a car crash due to the increase in miles driven.

I'm much more concerned about that, than the occasional flight we may go on with her on our laps.
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#29 of 83 Old 09-07-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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Here's the NTSB data from 1988 to 2007 for airplane travel:

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Table5.htm
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.
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#30 of 83 Old 09-07-2008, 01:19 AM
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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 don't.

I get up and walk around on a regular basis. Otherwise I'd go batty. Especially on the numerous 10+ hour flights I've been on.

I keep my seatbelt fastened most of the time. But - I don't worry about it. I do loosen it once the seatbelt sign goes off.
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