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  1. #1
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    This came over the CPSPlist and I thought it was worth sharing:

    NTSB PRESS RELEASE

    National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC 20594

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2010, SB-10-19

    NTSB ISSUES SAFETY ALERT TO URGE PARENTS TO USE CHILD RESTRAINT
    SYSTEMS DURING AIR TRAVEL

    The National Transportation Safety Board today issued a Safety
    Alert to advise parents of the dangers to young children on aircraft
    when not restrained in an approved child restraint system or device. The
    Safety Alert notes that preventable injuries and deaths have occurred in
    children younger than 2 years who were unrestrained.

    Specific child passenger safety issues on aircraft include the
    likelihood that parents and caregivers may not be able to maintain a
    secure hold on a lap-held child during turbulence and survivable
    accidents. Additionally, unrestrained children have become separated
    from their parents during survivable crashes and parents were unable to
    locate them during the evacuation.

    "As the summer travel season gets underway, the NTSB would like
    to remind families traveling with children that child restraints are the
    best way to keep youngsters safe - whether traveling by car or air,"
    said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "While the NTSB would still
    like to see a federal regulation requiring the use of child restraints
    on aircraft, we continue to recommend that, when traveling by air, all
    parents purchase an airline ticket for every child in the family and
    place each child in a size-appropriate restraint system to ensure that
    everyone travels safely."

    The Safety Alert can be found on the NTSB website here:
    http://ntsb.gov/alerts/SA_015.pdf. Additional information about past
    NTSB safety recommendations on child passenger safety on aircraft can be
    found on the website here: http://ntsb.gov/aviation/aviation.htm
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!


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  3. #2
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Didn't a government spokesman put out a response to this issue before and say that mandatory car seats in planes would discourage some families from traveling by air and instead take cars to go to their destination? Thereby increasing the likelihood of death/injury from a vehicular crash which is much more common than airplane deaths.


    It sounds somewhat of a dull answer, but it is exactly right. If they mandate people purchase a seat for every child than that will double the cost for my family to fly and make it MUCH cheaper to drive the distance we must in order to visit family.

  4. #3
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    There are plenty of people who HAVE to fly. They might not like purchasing a seat but if they had to, I think it would become normal after a few years. It's already mandatory to purchase a ticket when flying overseas. Furthermore, as stated in their press release, even children over 2, who have to have a ticket anyway, can benefit from using a restraint on the plane.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic vonfirmath's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by VCSdadBear View Post
    Didn't a government spokesman put out a response to this issue before and say that mandatory car seats in planes would discourage some families from traveling by air and instead take cars to go to their destination? Thereby increasing the likelihood of death/injury from a vehicular crash which is much more common than airplane deaths.


    It sounds somewhat of a dull answer, but it is exactly right. If they mandate people purchase a seat for every child than that will double the cost for my family to fly and make it MUCH cheaper to drive the distance we must in order to visit family.
    So that means, in less than two years, you will have to drive anyway

    --Sarah & D.J. (3-20-04)
    DS (08/07) ~ 8 ~ 52 pound ~ Graco Highback Turbobooster -- 3rd Grade!
    DD (08/11) ~ 4 yr ~ 32 lb ~ Britax Roundabout 50, Maestro -- Pre-K!

  6. #5
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Yes, or be making more money.

  7. #6
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    I think it's reasonable to require all passengers on a plane to be safely seated and restrained.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  8. #7
    CPS Technician littleangelfire's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    I can see both sides of this one. If I was traveling with a baby, I can see thinking - oh my GOSH! Why is it going to cost me $200 one way to fly an infant?! On the other hand, the only reason that thought would even enter my mind is that you CAN fly an infant for free. If we'd never had that option, we wouldn't blink an eye - it'd be like flying with any child over 2 already is. You want to go somewhere - you pay for the kid, too.

  9. #8
    CPS Advocate Kat_Momof3's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    You know, it would be a pain for those on a budget on flights that weren't planned for, but most people plan their air travel well in advance... and I'd like to see it mandated. I really think that it's unsafe. I have traveled with a child under 2 not in a seat before... when I was pregnant with Jeffrey... before I knew just how risky it was. That flight had been planned and if I'd known (especially if it had been mandatory), you can believe I would have come up with the extra cost... which wasn't going to be much since it was Air Tran and I booked it more than a month prior, so it was under 100 dollars a seat.

    The sad part is, I just didn't know the true risks and the airlines had all assured me when I called for pricing that it was safe.

    It's another reason I think a mandate should occur... so the customer service reps can't be left to give bad advice... with it being mandated, they can only forbid babies riding not in a seat.



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  10. #9
    CPS Technician CommMom's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    The direct link to the press release is here for anybody who wants to post it to their FB, Twitter, etc.

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  12. #10
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Now may actually be a great time for them to make the change and require a seat for every passenger. They're already tacking on every surcharge you can imagine. Just last week most of the majors added a "summer peak travel" surcharge for practically every day of June, July and August. People might groan at requiring tickets (and hopefully restraints) for infants, but I don't think think it will summon the outrage it may have a couple years ago. Maybe we should mount a lobbying campaign.

    On a personal note, I think having a seat for an infant or toddler is at least a dozen times better than holding them. Even with paying for the seat, I would much rather tote dd's seat through the airport than deal with wrangling her for 2-5 hours. We flew with ds as a lap child before I had better information. He's a very mellow kid, and those flights were inconvenient and frustrating at best. With dd, it would be torture. Knowing what I do now, there's no way I would check her seat as baggage, so I may as well use it if I drag it to the gate anyway.

  13. #11
    CPS Fanatic mom2juliarose's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    I just wish they also discussed/advised using restraints for children over 2 as well.
    Anne, driving a '13 Odyssey and an '05 CRV

    DD-Julia 9/04 (5 stepping now!)
    DS1-Luca 11/10 (Graco Wayz and Graco HB Turbobooster)
    DS2- Enzo 7/15 (Chicco NextFit and Diono R100)

  14. #12
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    They did mention that ALL children should be restrained in an age- and size-appropriate restraint. They definitely could have gone into it more.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  15. #13
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by littleangelfire View Post
    I can see both sides of this one. If I was traveling with a baby, I can see thinking - oh my GOSH! Why is it going to cost me $200 one way to fly an infant?! On the other hand, the only reason that thought would even enter my mind is that you CAN fly an infant for free. If we'd never had that option, we wouldn't blink an eye - it'd be like flying with any child over 2 already is. You want to go somewhere - you pay for the kid, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by mom2juliarose View Post
    I just wish they also discussed/advised using restraints for children over 2 as well.
    Yes, I'm trying to learn more on that topic now and would have found that very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupqueen View Post
    They did mention that ALL children should be restrained in an age- and size-appropriate restraint. They definitely could have gone into it more.
    But what does that mean? I am serious. Could anyone please clarify? TIA

  16. #14
    Admin - CPST Instructor murphydog77's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    But what does that mean? I am serious. Could anyone please clarify? TIA
    It means using whatever harnessed seat is used in a vehicle for the child. Since a belt positioning booster can't be used on an airplane because the airplane lacks a shoulder belt, a backless booster can be carried on for the ride at the destination. But a harnessed seat with a label that has red writing with wording on it ("This Restraint is Certified for Use in Motor Vehicles and Aircraft.") that says it's FAA-approved can be used on the plane.
    Last edited by murphydog77; 05-29-2010 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Added official wording from label

  17. #15
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by murphydog77 View Post
    It means using whatever harnessed seat is used in a vehicle for the child. Since a belt positioning booster can't be used on an airplane because the airplane lacks a shoulder belt, a backless booster can be carried on for the ride at the destination. But a harnessed seat with a label that has red writing with wording on it that says it's FAA-approved can be used on the plane.
    So according to this, if my DD1 should be in a 5 point harnessed seat in a car, she should also use that in the plane (or CARES, if she didn't exceed the height limit )?

    When first thinking about flying for the first time with my kids, that was what I assumed we should do. However, while researching the topic, I found this thread http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=126206 in which people here are comfortable with their 3-4 yos flying in just the plane's seatbelt. So now I am wondering if I am inconveniencing us unnecessarily. I hope you understand why I'd be confused by this. Thank you. I'm just trying to put all this info together and figure out the right thing to do for our trip.

  18. #16
    Admin - CPST Instructor murphydog77's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Generally kids who are about 40 lbs. fit in airplane seat belts pretty well, so 3-4 yr olds can fit in those seat belts just fine. The problem is going to be what carseats they will use on the destination side of the plane trip. If you have a carseat in the vehicle to the airport and at the destination, then you're golden and don't have to take any seats on board. But, if you don't have anything to use at your destination, or the seat is questionable (as you mentioned it is in the thread you linked to in your post), then you may want to take your everyday carseat.

    For instance, last spring we flew to Washington, DC, and knew we were going to take the Metro for all our transportation needs. We didn't take any carseats with us. However, the year before, we flew to Hawaii and were renting cars. We took a backless booster for my ds who was 8 and a SafeGuard Go for my dd who was 6 (I think that's how old they were--sheesh, I can't remember, lol!). Those were relatively painless to haul around, but we've hauled bigger seats too.

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  20. #17
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Once a kid is 3-4 and can be trusted to not unbuckle every time you turn your head, and is 40 lbs. or very close to it, they should be fine in the belt and so it's not necessary to bring their seat IF they have something available to use at the destination. In your case I believe you're considering a RSTV, so that would be appropriate. The FAA does recommend that all children under 40 lbs. use a CR as "Children under 40 lbs. may not be optimally restrained by the lap belt only."
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  21. #18
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by murphydog77 View Post
    Generally kids who are about 40 lbs. fit in airplane seat belts pretty well, so 3-4 yr olds can fit in those seat belts just fine.
    So these are big kids. Okay, that makes sense and really clarifies it all. Thank you. I've been reading that the AAP and other organizations recommend a car seat/restraint until 40 pounds and your average 3-4 yo girl is 30-35 pounds (~38 pounds at 4.5 yo and 40 at 5). Hopefully that explains my confusion. Again, thank you for that clarification.

    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupqueen View Post
    Once a kid is 3-4 and can be trusted to not unbuckle every time you turn your head, and is 40 lbs. or very close to it, they should be fine in the belt and so it's not necessary to bring their seat IF they have something available to use at the destination. In your case I believe you're considering a RSTV, so that would be appropriate. The FAA does recommend that all children under 40 lbs. use a CR as "Children under 40 lbs. may not be optimally restrained by the lap belt only."
    Thank you for this clarification. How close is close enough to 40 pounds? Now, two months before travels, I weighed her at 35 pounds fully clothes (on my home scale). She does not put on weight quickly so she might be 35 pounds then plus clothes. My other concern is that she is tall and slim (that weight is spread over a longer area ) and that this may result in a worse fit than an average height 40 pounder. It would be so much easier to use the plane belt and an RSTV at destination, but I just don't know if it is safe. Thank you.

  22. #19
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Athena, I apologize, but can you remind me how old your dd is?

    I let my slim ds fly without a seat when he was month shy of 5. We were going to visit family and they had one he could use. There are pics of it in this thread. He did great when there was an adult sitting next to him, but not so much when there wasn't (I was the only adult for the return trip and had to sit next to the baby).

  23. #20
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    Re: NTSB issues Safety Alert urging parents to use child restraints on airplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    Athena, I apologize, but can you remind me how old your dd is?
    We are planning to fly right around her 4th birthday so at the least she will only be a couple day shy of 4 and probably will be 4. She will probably be about 42" and 35 pounds. Yesterday she weighed 35 pounds on my home scale with clothes and measured at almost 42" (very approx. at home measurement).

    It was helpful to see your pic. Thanks. How tall was he? I am wondering if DD1 will have any legroom in a car seat. But based on what someone mention on that thread about RSTV fit, I am also wondering how I know if that will fit either. This is way too complicated.

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