Thankfully, parents today accept it as common sense that children, particularly young children, should be in appropriate car seats anytime they travel in a motor vehicle. This is due in large part to strict laws regarding car seat use for children.
Unfortunately, the same is not true for air travel.
While no parent would consider driving around town with their child loose on an adult‘s lap, they do not apply the same logic to riding in an airplane. Currently, airplane safety rules allow children younger than 2 years old to remain in their parents’ laps during flights, and older children only need to be restrained by a lap belt. This puts those children at significant risk.
In 2012, David Rapoport, Jan Brown and Lindsey Epstein published an article on the dangers of air travel for children who do not have appropriate safety restraints. Unfortunately, no progress has been made in the past 2 years.
Recently, the departing chair of the National Transportation Safety Board said that “one of her great disappointments” was not making more progress toward requiring child safety seats on airplanes.
If you would like to learn more about legal matters related to airplane safety, then our aviation law website is a good place to start.
Source: Observer & Eccentric, ” NTSB chief urges child-safety seats on planes,” Bart Jansen, April 21, 2014