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James T. Crouse
James T. Crouse
Attorney • (919) 861-0500

Child Safety Seats and Airlines—Parents Take Note

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The Department of Transportation recently reminded us about the safety of children on airlines. FIRST AND FOREMOST: The safest place for child on board a plane is in a child safety seat or a device based on your child’s weight – NOT in your lap.

No matter what you might think, you won’t be able to hold onto your little one in severe turbulence, hard landing or an accident. The evidence proves children in the laps of adults are at far greater risks during turbulence or in an emergency than those safely strapped into the seat correctly.

AirSafe.com describes the importance of having children properly protected by an approved CRS – child restraint system. The American Academy of Pediatrics Police Statement on Restraint Use on Aircraft says “occupant protection policies for children younger than 2 years on aircraft are inconsistent with all other national policies on safe transportation.”

Many of the child seats today are designed to be used in vehicles and aircraft – so the same seat can be used to strap your child safely into the taxi on the way to the airport, in the plane, and while traveling at your destination. Not child booster seats, however.

Check your child’s seat owner’s manual or contact the seat’s manufacturer to see if your seat is approved for airline use—and bring proof to the airport. The airlines can get very strict about child seat usage on their airplanes.

The FAA’s Child Safety on Airplanes, has a very helpful video which shows the correct way to install a child seat on an airplane.

And don’t forget—BUCKLE UP—no matter what the mode of transportation.

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  1. Louise Stoll says:
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    Thanks you for making clear the need for youngsters in planes to have appropriate protection. Turbulence happens unexpectedly; landings can be rough. Little ones are prohibited from being in a parent’s lap in an automobile, and should be in a plane also; kids old enough to sit upright, but not tall enough to brace themselves in the event of turbulence. etc need to be in a child restraint. The practical, easy to use, FAA certified child restraint designed specifically for airplane use is CARES – it weighs only 1 pound so parents don’t need to worry about how to haul car seats through airports. Check out http://www.kidsflysafe.com.