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  1. #1
    CPS Technician
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    Is rfing safer on planes too?

    Is it safer or is it just reccomended to reduce the kicking? I'm talking about rfing after the child is legally able to ff in the seat. Links? Thanks!
    Jennifer, Special Needs CPST, peds nurse, and CSFTL Admin mom to:
    AJ-13 (five steps), Evan-11 (nbb),
    Ilana-9 (nbb) ,
    Olivia-7 (hbb), and
    Unity-3 (rf and ff)

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    There's debate on this. My take is that probably the time it would most come into play is during a runway emergency, which mimics the physics of an auto crash. So in that case I'd say yes. In turbulence it won't matter, nor for dropping out of the sky. But if you skid and spin on the runway, or crash into a plane or the gate or a barrier then it's going to be like a car and I'd rather have my child rear facing. There's concern that the seat back will break toward the child (they're designed to break forward), but the seat in front of the rear facing kid would break as well, giving the seat room to move away from its seat back. Plus there's a concern that something like a Marathon that sits high on a base forward facing would slam a child into the seat in front (which isn't as soft with the tray there as the seat back breaking forward), though I don't know how likely that is since that seat will also be breaking forward.

    Piper rear faced on the planes until she was 3.5 and we got the Radian for travel (less concern also for excursion forward since it doesn't sit on a base, though that wasn't a consideration when we bought it, just an added bonus). It was just easier and safer, IMO.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #3
    Admin - CPST Instructor Kecia's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    Keep in mind this is a really old article (they discuss shield boosters) but it's still interesting and probably still relevent:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...103FF935A15751...


    February 26, 1995
    PRACTICAL TRAVELER; Children's Seats In Air Faulted
    By BETSY WADE

    THE Federal Aviation Administration has tested forward-facing child safety seats certified for use aboard airplanes and found them wanting.


    The results do not mean that parents who ordinarily take forward-facing safety seats aboard to buckle in larger children, those over the age of 2 and under about 3 1/2 years, should stop doing so: At the moment there is no substitute. It does mean that forward-facing safety seats bearing a Government seal for use in a car or plane may not
    safeguard their riders in a survivable air crash. Rear-facing safety seats for smaller children were judged safe.


    In tests conducted last summer by the F.A.A. labs, five types of child restraint devices, holding test dummies, were fastened into airplane seats and put through simulated crashes. Forward-facing seats, backless booster seats and torso harnesses did not protect dummies from severe head impact. Although the report was published in September, it received little attention.


    The author of the F.A.A. research, Van Gowdy, supervisor of biodynamic research at the F.A.A. Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, said that as long as safety seats were certified for air use after an automotive test, parents were going to presume a "significant level of safety" would be provided. "There is no evidence to support that," Mr. Gowdy reported at a conference on airline safety sponsored by the Southern California Safety Institute in Torrance, Calif., early this month.


    Mr. Gowdy said existing test specifications for seat use in cars did not recreate cabin conditions.


    In discussing his findings in Torrance, Mr. Gowdy noted the established fact that auto travel, by any calculation, was far more dangerous to children than air travel. According to Dr. Jeffrey J. Sacks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, auto crashes
    kill or injure 79,000 children under 4 in a year. Even an airline year like 1994 may bring the death of one or two young children and perhaps six injuries. Flying in a Lap.


    In the F.A.A. tests, rear-facing seats, which are used for children under 20 pounds, usually about 2 years old, were effective in safeguarding riders. However, because airlines let children under 2 travel without tickets, they often sit in adults' laps instead. Safety seats may be used only for children under 2 if a child has a ticket or a flight attendant allows use of an adjoining empty seat.


    At the upper end of the toddler range, children who have reached the age of 3 or 3 1/2 years old -- who must be ticketed -- can use regular airline lap belts and enjoy a degree of safety nearly comparable to adults. So the hazard continues for infants under 2 who are not placed in the rear-facing safety seats, and a new hazard has been revealed
    for children too large for these seats and too small to use an adult belt: the current Government-approved forward-facing safety seats do not do the job because the certifying tests are inadequate.


    The conference, attended by airline employees and commercial safety trainers as well as enforcement officials, heard several times about the F.A.A.'s lack of a safety rule on infant seating.


    James M. Hall, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that his agency, which investigates transport accidents and recommends changes, had repeatedly pressed the F.A.A. on this: "It continues to rebuff our requests that all be secured in takeoff, landing and turbulence."


    Nothing prevents an airline from acting on its own, but Dean M. Resch, head of the survivability division of the F.A.A., said in an interview that if the cost of safety changes was greater than the legal liability, the airlines would not act alone. Airlines have said that if parents were compelled to buy tickets for infants, too, they might drive instead of flying. "If the public raises the issue, something will be done," Mr. Resch said. "But it doesn't mean much to anyone unless you are the parents of those kids who died."


    How have safety seats for children been labeled safe for use in planes when three types cannot do the job? This question was asked repeatedly at the meeting of 300 people that heard Mr. Gowdy's report. Tests based on Autos.

    The answer is that the seats are tested in devices that simulate automobile seats and belts, but without a barrier in front to represent a dashboard or a front seat. The automotive tests presume a 32-inch open space for a child's head to be flung forward into in a crash. When the child is in a forward-facing safety seat in an economy-
    class airplane seat, there is just 32 inches between the back of one seat and the back of the seat behind it. Films showed the dummies' heads hitting the seat ahead with tremendous force.


    Mr. Gowdy undertook these tests at the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, manufacturers of child safety seats, the F.A.A., the National Transportation Safety Board and a few airline associations. The tests could not undo the certification provided by the highway safety agency. The brand names tested were given in the report, but not linked to the individual results.


    Five brands of rear-facing seats performed well. One torso harness approved for airline use was too loose and too elastic and was judged unsatisfactory. A belly belt approved for use in England to hold a child less than 2 on an adult's lap was also unsatisfactory. "The impossibility of protecting a small child, by any means, sitting on
    the lap of an adult restrained by a seat belt was confirmed," the report said.


    Seven models of forward-facing seats approved for both car and plane use were tested, plus one seat built overseas specifically for airplane use. Two failed because they could not be belted in. In the six others, the dummy's head received severe blows. When the airplane seat belt anchor was shifted 4.8 inches above the regular site and 4.5 inches to the rear, before the seat was installed, the dummy's head did not hit the seat ahead, but this adaptation cannot be made on the spot.

    Seat Belts Found Better
    Four approved booster seats, the backless models with swing-aside shields that are often used for children over 2 because they are more compact to carry, were tested. One seat disintegrated. And in three, the dummy's head hit a locked seat back in the next row. If the child is big enough to ride in a booster seat, the report said, he or she
    will be better off using an adult seat belt.


    A 3-year-old will get acceptable restraint in an adult belt although it will be near its minimum length, the report said.


    The F.A.A., according to Fraser Jones, a spokesman, is working with the highway safety administration to revise the standards for the tests that certify the seats.


    The F.A.A. report, "The Performance of Child Restraint Devices in Transport Airplane Passenger Seats" by Van Gowdy and Richard DeWeese, is available for $17.50 plus $4 shipping from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Va. 22161;
    (703) 487-4600.

  5. #4
    Admin - CPST Instructor Kecia's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    That link doesn't seem to be working. Try this one:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...51C0A963958260

  6. #5
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    Much, much safer. We'd all be RF if it didn't make so many people feel sick and just plain creepy (people like to be FF, must have something to do with our brain wiring?) http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/airplaneRF.aspx
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  7. #6
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    I've read that most airplane crashes are on the ground (during the taxi and take-off/landing). Like Wendy said, the crash dynamics on the runway are similar to any other vehicle.

    On the Mythbusters episode testing the brace position for airplane crashes, they found the safest seat to be the rf ones with a harness for the flight attendants. I know that's not the most scientific of sources, but the FAA official in the talking head piece said that we'd all be rf on planes if it wasn't for the projectile hazard of all the debris flying forward. Since that's a fairly rare occurence, I'd say that yes, a rf child is absolutely safer on the plane.

    That being said, we've allowed ds to ff on planes since he was 2. We often fly JetBlue and the TVs win out.

  8. #7
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    but the FAA official in the talking head piece said that we'd all be rf on planes if it wasn't for the projectile hazard of all the debris flying forward. Since that's a fairly rare occurence, I'd say that yes, a rf child is absolutely safer on the plane.
    And if you're nose up with debris falling back? Say the pilot is trying to pull up? Given how rare it is I don't know that one way offers more protection than the other.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  9. #8
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    And if you're nose up with debris falling back? Say the pilot is trying to pull up? Given how rare it is I don't know that one way offers more protection than the other.

    Wendy
    good point, but I think you'd have to be nearly vertical to stop things from moving foward. I'm not saying I agree completely with his reasoning, but if that's the only safety argument against rf, then I would feel completely comfortable with rf on a plane.

    on a somewhat related note, did you see the report the other day that there were zero fatalities on commercial flights last year?

    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Table1.htm

  10. #9
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    good point, but I think you'd have to be nearly vertical to stop things from moving foward. I'm not saying I agree completely with his reasoning, but if that's the only safety argument against rf, then I would feel completely comfortable with rf on a plane.

    on a somewhat related note, did you see the report the other day that there were zero fatalities on commercial flights last year?

    http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Table1.htm
    I did! That made me so happy. I hate flying. I'm so scared of it. And yet I get in a car several times a day. LOL Rationality and logic are not happening here. I just like my feet on the ground. Though we flew from NC to CA and back this past week and it was great. We slept most of the way (early morning flight out, red eye back). It's so easy to not freak when you're not conscious.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  11. #10
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    Thanks guys. Evan rf on the plane 1/2 of our trip last time out of sheer convenience, but I needed links for someone else. I'll just link her this thread.
    Jennifer, Special Needs CPST, peds nurse, and CSFTL Admin mom to:
    AJ-13 (five steps), Evan-11 (nbb),
    Ilana-9 (nbb) ,
    Olivia-7 (hbb), and
    Unity-3 (rf and ff)

  12. #11
    CPS Technician emandbri's Avatar
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    Re: Is rfing safer on planes too?

    I've actually heard he argument that being rear-facing in a plane is even more important then being rear-facing in a car because the plane seats are closer together then in a car and because the seat can't be tethered head excursion would be even greater.

    Emily tech and mom to Jacob 16, Daniel 13, Benjamin 9, Elizabeth 6. Child care provider to 4 other kiddos.

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