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View Full Version : If you need a good reason to buy your under 2 yo a seat on the plane...


mcnuss
05-28-2003, 09:03 PM
...Look no further than this article:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-05-26-safe-side_x.htm

The jet's gyrations took Frank Englert, 79, back to the night his B-29 nearly crashed on a World War II bombing mission over Tokyo. "I thought, all these years, and here's where we end up," Englert says.

Michelle Singh prepared herself to die. "Everybody was screaming and crying and praying," Singh, 36, says. "It was horrifying. It was the end."

Flight 903, an Airbus A300 flying from Boston to Miami, nearly crashed when the pilots allowed the jet to slow too much and lost control. The case has drawn increased scrutiny in recent months because of similarities to the 2001 crash of another American A300.

According to passengers and public records, the cabin reverberated with screams and prayers. The creaking fuselage sounded like it was breaking apart.

One man sailed across the aisle. A baby flew out of her mother's arms. Passengers safely caught the baby, but the mother unbuckled her seatbelt and flew into the ceiling. The blow knocked her unconscious and broke four of her ribs.

A flight attendant cried out in pain: "My back! My back! Please, please! Somebody help me." Debris flew everywhere. Flying suitcases bloodied some passengers.

After landing, flight attendants told investigators, grown men cried and one woman yelled "Hallelujah!" Others had trouble walking. "I'm a pretty sturdy lady," says Nancy Lewis, 75. "I play tennis and all. But they took me out in a chair. I couldn't walk."

Years later, none of the seven passengers interviewed knew the incident's cause until told by a reporter. Most still believed what American had told them: that the jet encountered turbulence.

Mommy Poppins
05-29-2003, 07:32 AM
Yep, I agree. In 2000 on our WDW trip we bought our then 19 month old a seat. We are going again in December of this year and have bought our 16 month old a seat as well. We take the car seat on the plane and strap them in. To them it is no different than riding in a car.

peg2001
05-29-2003, 07:45 AM
Thank you for the reminder, Mcnuss. Too often we become complacent that flights will always be smooth ones. We've been debating the merits of taking on a car seat for our DD3.5 versus just strapping her in with the seatbelt. You've helped convince me that she needs the safety seat, even if it is a hassle to haul it through the airport and onto the plane.

Peggy

Mommy Poppins
05-29-2003, 07:49 AM
We are gate-checking our stroller so we will just put the car seat on top of the stroller until it is time to board the plane.

Our biggest hassle last time was getting the stroller & car seat from the National car rental into the check-in desk, but we made it.

KLRI
05-29-2003, 03:15 PM
Perhaps I am misinformed, but I thought I read somewhere that you cannot use your car seat on an airplane for a child who is over 2 years old (maybe it was the weight limitation that I am thinking of, though). I'd love to know if anyone knows, because I will confront this issue for our upcoming trip. Our son will be 2.5 yrs old and weighs about 32 lbs now, so I thought that I would not be able to use the car seat (we used it for a prior trip when he was 15 mos.). Does anyone know? Thanks in advance.

jel0511
05-29-2003, 03:29 PM
Any carseat you bring on an airplane MUST be FAA approved. There usually is a sticker on the side or back indicating this, also is noted in the manual. A child who is under 2 who has their own seat, MUST be restrained in an FAA approved child restraint seat. If the child is over 2, they do not have to be restrained in a car seat, per FAA regulations, but you have the option of bringing your car seat on the plane.

trayletha
05-29-2003, 04:12 PM
Also if you use a car/booster seat you have to use the 5-point restraints and not the seat belt.

mcnuss
05-29-2003, 10:55 PM
My DD rode on the plane in her car seat until she all but busted out of it! I think she was about 3.5 when I finally stopped and my mom bought a booster for her car so I did not have to lug it with me.

I posted this bc I did have a scary experience the one & only time DD rode in my arms. It was a short, 45 min. flight and I did not think it "Worth" it to buy her a seat. She was about 9 mos. old and probably around 20 lbs. We were landing in DC when the pilot aborted the landing, pulled up really hard, and banked away from the airport. She was nearly pulled out of my arms and into the seat in front of us. (Turns out there was a plane still on the runway and the pilot was not taking any chances of it not getting out of his way quick enough.) Scared the pants off me and she never rode unrestrained again. If I could not afford a seat for her, we did not go. Period. No debate. Reading that article brought that bad memory back in a big way.

married2grumpy
05-30-2003, 01:05 PM
I can never understand why people would hold a child in their lap. You wouldn't do it in your car, what makes a plane any different. We have always paid for the extra seats for our children to fly. They are safer and they are much more comfortable. Our last flight, my DD 2 fell asleep in her car seat right after take off on both flights and slept straight through. Other parents who lap held their children had kids who didn't want to stay still and had a miserable flight. It is expensive to fly but safety should come first. If I can't afford a seat for all 3 of my kids then I would drive. At least use one of those baby lap restraints they sell for traveling by plane. Please keep your kids safe.

peg2001
05-30-2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by married2grumpy
I can never understand why people would hold a child in their lap. If I can't afford a seat for all 3 of my kids then I would drive. At least use one of those baby lap restraints they sell for traveling by plane.

Actually, THIS is the main reason the FAA has been reluctant to ban lap babies!! Statistically, that baby is SAFER in the lap of a parent on a plane than the baby would be in a car for the drive.

Also, they don't allow the use of the lap restraint during take-off or landing (the most dangerous segments), only during the remaining portion of the flight. I once boarded with a baby in a sling and they made it clear that the baby could not remain in the sling for take-off or landing.

Peggy

madcoco
05-31-2003, 02:40 AM
Imo This allowance for children to be unrestrained on a lap is ridiculous. Aircraft accident statistics do not support this as being a safe practice but the FAA appears to deem it as an acceptable risk. One injury or death is too many. Here is an interesting article with the American Academy of Pediatrics point of view:

Infant restraints (http://www.aap.org/policy/re0101.html)

http://www.onestepahead.com/images//product/family/6448_v.jpg If this is what you are talking about, yes it is not yet FAA approved for taxi take off or landing but it could definitely help in turbulent cruise phases of flight.

caitycaity
05-31-2003, 04:40 AM
I can never understand why people would hold a child in their lap. If I can't afford a seat for all 3 of my kids then I would drive. At least use one of those baby lap restraints they sell for traveling by plane.

there are a lot of places you either can't drive to, or are not feasible to drive to. everyone makes their own choices... :)

ducklite
05-31-2003, 02:08 PM
If I couldn't afford a ticket for my kid, we just didn't go. End of story. His safety was FAR more important that any trip to WDW or anyplace else for that matter. And I hear all the "memories about WDW are so important", yeah, but it won't do you any good if you kid dies on the way.

Anne

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
06-02-2003, 02:14 AM
I agree with buying a seat for the baby.
But I also don't understand that for those that DO decide to hold their babies in their laps- WHY ON EARTH will they not let you use the baby lap restraints on take off and landing? It doesn't make sense to me- wouldn't they be safer with that on instead of in the parent's arms?
Is it because it would be difficult to remove it or unlatch it if something happened (like a crash)?? Well wouldn't the same be said for if they were in a carseat?? Same difference in my opinion- although I would personally choose the carseat though.

peg2001
06-02-2003, 12:28 PM
Quote from the FAA website concerning lap restraints (belly belts):

"These systems allowed the test dummy to make severe contact with the back of the seat in the row in front of the test dummy. The child also may be crushed by the forward bending motion of the adult to whom the child is attached. "

See: http://www2.faa.gov/fsdo/ord/change.htm

Peggy

BevS97
06-02-2003, 12:34 PM
It's very strange to me, as we fly from the UK to the USA using British companys (both BA, and others) and they do not allow infant carriers on the plane at all - you can use a forward facing car seat for an older baby, but not a baby 'carrytot' style car seat.

They also require you to use a lap belt. I have flown with my dd many times and we have been given a lap belt every single time.

It seems odd to me that the rules would be different depending on the airline you are flying with (but I know it is the case)

Bev

inkkognito
06-02-2003, 03:27 PM
mcnuss,
Your experience reminded me of one of my own. It's not as uncommon as people think. We were landing at Midway airport on a very snowy day. The weather was so bad that O'Hare was closed, and our plane was delayed for several hours. I was really surprised that Midway hadn't been shut down too. As we were coming down, the pilot suddenly aborted and shot back up. I knew it wasn't normal, and my hunch was confirmed by the looks on the faces of the flight attendants in the jump seats facing us (we were in the bulkhead exit row). It wasn't panic, but definitely a look of "What's going on?" Turns out a tiny plane had been trying to take off and had spun out and hit a snowbank. The people in it were okay, but we couldn't land there and had to circle in the sky while they cleared another runway for us. We don't have children, but I can guarantee you that if we did, they would be in a seat, NEVER in my lap. I wouldn't want my beloved child to become a loose missle in case of emergency. I know it can be costly, but you can't put a price on a child's life.
Barb
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at: www.*****************

lisag1
06-02-2003, 05:39 PM
We've had the same experiences as Bev on this one. Even when I paid for my (then) 18m old to have his own seat and I requested Virgin's infant seat as they told me I couldn't take my own car seat on board (btw it's a Britax) I was pretty annoyed when I got on the plane and was told that they didn't have the infant plane seat I had requested :mad: This happens.... A LOT! So in the UK it's not about irresponsible parenting, more the case of irresponsible airlines...

Lisag

ps. Waves to Bev, see you on the DIBB ;)

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
06-02-2003, 05:59 PM
"These systems allowed the test dummy to make severe contact with the back of the seat in the row in front of the test dummy. The child also may be crushed by the forward bending motion of the adult to whom the child is attached. "

This makes sense- EXCEPT WHEN you think of the alternative. Unless they make it where you HAVE to purchase a seat for a young child- the alternative is going to be them either doing the same thing (severe contact with the back of the seat in front of them or crushed by the forward bending motion of the adult that is holding them) OR flying like a missile across the airplane when ripped from the parents hands.

See what I mean?

peg2001
06-03-2003, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by BibbidyBobbidyBoo
This makes sense- EXCEPT WHEN you think of the alternative. Unless they make it where you HAVE to purchase a seat for a young child- the alternative is going to be them either doing the same thing (severe contact with the back of the seat in front of them or crushed by the forward bending motion of the adult that is holding them) OR flying like a missile across the airplane when ripped from the parents hands.

See what I mean?

Yes, I see what you mean! I wasn't trying to defend FAA's position. If I had to guess, I would say that they ban these alternative forms of restraint so parents don't have a false sense of security. If you are holding a child loose on your lap, you KNOW you are risking your child's safety. If you are using a lap restraint, you may think your child is perfectly safe, when that is not the case.

I agree with most posters here, they should just require parents to buy the seat at 50% discount and use a safety seat.

Peggy

lindaso
06-03-2003, 12:26 PM
I agree with what many people have said...if we can't afford a seat for our baby, then we can't afford to go. I worked for an airline back in college (ages ago:o ) and back then the crash procedure was to put the infant on the floor in between your legs!! Don't know if that's still the case but scares me enough that I'll never have a lap baby on a plane!

I'll never understand why everything on a plane needs to be stowed securely except a baby under age 2!!

disneyfanzz
06-03-2003, 01:12 PM
My husband and I are taking our almost 3 year old triplets and 7 year old son to Disney World. I don't know how we would carry three huge car seats and the kids and the carry ons. What is the smallest car seat you can get for a 3 year old? Is the seatbelt on the plane enough for a 30 pound kid?

Thanks,
Kerianne

ReadyForDisney2003
06-03-2003, 10:54 PM
Bring your own carseats onto the plane. Even if you need to get a porter to help you to the gate. You will need the carseats when you get to the destination, right? You can look into getting a carrier with wheels. I visit a carseat board and they all talk about something called a 'smartmove' by samsonite. You can strap the seats together on the wheels and pull the other along.

I have also have had a gate pass to help my sister travel with her twins. She had 2 year old twins and a 4 year old she traveled with them. I could get a pass to go through security to help her with the seats and all that.

My DD is 4 1/2 years old and weighs 36 pounds. I still take her harnessed seat with me on the plane and in the rental car. I cannot imagine her in a regular seat belt on the plane. She looks so small.

There are smaller harnessed booster seats that will convert to a belt positioning booster later (after they are 40 pounds). They are usually easier to travel with than the 'full size' convertible. I'm guessing your 7 year old could be a big help with carring the younger ones carseats as long as they are attached to wheels. My DS is 7 and he is a big help when we travel.

Good luck. And, I hope you can manage with your seats.

married2grumpy
06-04-2003, 10:13 AM
disneyfanzz-

As long as they have their own seats I would think just the seat belt would be fine. Just make sure they keep it on at all times. Our last flight was very bumpy and I was amazed at the amount of people who let their kids wander around the plane. The stewardess had to keep reminding people to please stay seated. I guess some people figure it's easier to let the kids out to run around rather than trying to keep them in their seats.

dcfromva
06-04-2003, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by BibbidyBobbidyBoo
This makes sense- EXCEPT WHEN you think of the alternative. Unless they make it where you HAVE to purchase a seat for a young child- the alternative is going to be them either doing the same thing (severe contact with the back of the seat in front of them or crushed by the forward bending motion of the adult that is holding them) OR flying like a missile across the airplane when ripped from the parents hands.
See what I mean?

I think a lap baby becomes a projectile no matter where they are held. At this point it is left up to the family to decide whether to buy a seat or not. Here is something that caused me to form my own family policy when it comes to an infant under the age of 2 traveling with me.
I have always purchased a ticket for our son--there was never any debate about it. A while back, I read an account of an aircraft accident (in Iowa City in 1989 UAL 232) which more than cemented my opinion on this subject--one of the Moms who had a lap baby survived the crash, but her son did not. I cry everytime I think about it.
Apparently, the safest crash position for a lap baby is on the floor in front of the parent.
Exerpt from Congressional Testimony on the topic of Child Safety Seats in acft: (Warning--it is a bit graphic) (http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/Trans/hpw104-63.000/hpw104-63_0.HTM)
"Ms. BROWN-LOHR. My name is Jan Brown-Lohr. I have been a flight attendant with United Airlines and a member of the Association of Flight Attendants for 20 years. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, for allowing me to speak about my personal experience.
I was the chief flight attendant in the Sioux City, Iowa, DC–10 accident on July 19, 1989. A flight attendant's primary responsibility is passenger safety, and on that day I came to the full realization that passenger safety only applies to those over the age of 2 years old.
It was a golden July day when disaster struck. The number two engine exploded, severing all hydraulic lines and leaving the pilots with only the number one and number three wing engines to maneuver the airplane. I have never known such terror.
We had 40 minutes to clear the snack service, secure the cabin, and then, according to procedures, we prepared the passengers for the emergency landing.
As we waited for the brace signal from the cockpit, I mentally reviewed if everything had been covered and remembered that we had several lap children. I picked up the microphone again and instructed those parents to place their children on the floor, which would give some advance time to brace themselves, as well as their children.
What I had been taught in flight attendant emergency training class now became senseless in reality. I could hardly believe I was giving these absurd instructions, but that was all we had.
What followed has been viewed countless times—an unbelievable impact that mere words could never adequately describe—the plane breaking into three sections, being engulfed in a flash fire, and my section finally stopping upside down in a corn field.
I was finally forced to leave the wreckage due to prohibitive and deadly smoke. The first person I encountered was a mother of a 22-month-old boy—the same mother I had comforted and reassured right after the engine exploded. She was trying to return to the burning wreckage to find him, and I blocked her path, telling her she could not return. And when she insisted, I told her that helpers would find him.
Sylvia Tsao then looked up at me and said, ''You told me to put my baby on the floor, and I did, and he's gone.'' My first thought was, ''I'll have to live with this for the rest of my life.'' I then replied, ''That was the best thing to do.'' That was all we had. Evan was killed.
According to FAA regulations, we flight attendants must ensure that all carry-on bags are properly stored before the airplane door is closed, that all galley supplies are secured, and that all passengers 2 years old and older are wearing a seat belt for take-off, landing, and during flight when the captain deems it necessary. Even on-board pets are required to be safe and secured in pet carriers placed under a seat.
In addition, flight attendants are required to be harnessed in their side jump seats for taxi, take-off, landing, and during heavy turbulence.
U.S. laws across the country require young infants and children to be in car seats, yet, on planes traveling 500 miles an hour children under 2 years of age are allowed to fly free, with a potential to fly free through the cabin.
According to tests done at the FAA facility in Oklahoma City, the child's weight can multiply up to five times its normal weight in moderate to severe turbulence—far more in a crash. A 20-pound baby suddenly becomes 100 pounds, and not all the love in the world can hold him/her.
A plane traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago dropped 6,000 feet and two lap infants were wrenched from their parents' arms and hurled through the cabin. One infant was found underneath the pile of garment bags, which had fallen from the elevated closet. The flight attendant who witnessed this told me that at first it was feared the infant was under a liquor cart which had flown up into the air and landed upside down. Both infants were hospitalized. Sadly, only deaths, not injuries, are currently documented."
.

link to a transcript--Capt describing the accident (http://www.panix.com/~jac/aviation/haynes.html) ) Here is an exerpt from that link:
"There was an infant, that was separated from her parents. And one of our survivors, Gary (Schimel ??), was just leaving the airplane, getting out of that thing, full of smoke, fire ?? and he hard the baby crying. And he went back into the airplane, searching for the baby, found her in an overhead bin, she'd actually been thrown up into an overhead bin, and took her out."
In the over all scheme of things, your risk of getting into an accident is very, very, very low--but, after reading about that accident, a ticket for an infant at whatever price didn't seem too expensive to me. ( And even though the risk is so low of anything happening on a flight, I am dumbfounded that the same reasoning is not used about the requirement for everybody else above the age of 2 to be belted up during take-off and landing and during turbulence. )

Link to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations (http://www.aap.org/policy/re0101.html)


-DC :)

lindaso
06-04-2003, 12:29 PM
dcfromva...great post...once again, if we can't afford a seat for our baby, we don't go. It's really very simple.

Thank you for posting this.

Cindyluwho
06-04-2003, 06:49 PM
One important thing to remember is that minor accidents happen on the runway more often than we'd like to think about. THAT is when lap infants are in the most danger. Any flight attendant can tell you that close calls and slamming brakes happen quite frequently and people do get injured, especially little ones.

Another thing to keep in mind is not to put heavy items in the overhead bin. It says it right on the bin and the flight attendants announce it over the intercom. It just steams me when I see some imbecile put a huge, heavy bag over MY head. I've seen those compartment doors come open in heavy turbulance and seen bags come out and I don't want one coming my way. Put it under the seat in front of you and if it won't fit, check it!

mcnuss
06-04-2003, 09:45 PM
It just steams me when I see some imbecile put a huge, heavy bag over MY head.

For this exact reason, I will not ever take an aisle seat anymore. I used to, and between the idiots who hit you on their way thru the cabin "Oh gosh, did my 75 lb. backpack hit you in the head, so sorry <tee hee>" and the enormous bags that most of these people cannot even lift on their own up in the overhead, it's just not worth the risk.

My DH got really aggravated a couple of years ago when we were flying into PBI and this older lady was ahead of us at Security with a bag that looked to be loaded with bricks. She could not even get the bag up on the belt herself, so DH helped her. Lo and behold, there she is on our flight, smiling at DH and asking for his help. He said to her very nicely that he thought there should be a rule that if you can't lift the bag, you can't carry it on!

peg2001
06-05-2003, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Cindyluwho
Put it under the seat in front of you and if it won't fit, check it!

Yes. PLEASE! I almost never have anything to put in the overhead bin. I check everything but one small carry-on bag that fits under the seat in front of me, even when traveling with children.

Peggy

CEDmom
06-05-2003, 12:00 PM
I agree that children should be in appropriate restraints. I just wanted to give my personal experience with the safety vest MADCOCO showed in her post. We used it when we brought our DD home from China at 10 months. We really didn't have the option of bringing a safety seat because of severe lugguage restrictions placed on us by our adoption agency. However, I wanted to do everything possible to ensure our DD's safety. It really is a great product and costs about $25. It comes in 2 sizes for newborn to age 2. DD was able to sleep in my lap while secured into my lapbelt. I also had my hands free to read or whatever during our 16hr flight.:)