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Yet another reason to use a carseat on an airplane

airplaneI’ve always been a proponent of using carseats on airplanes. Turbulence is a cause of many injuries to adults and children each year and it can’t be anticipated. Parents with lap babies can’t hold their kids with a death-grip hold for an entire plane ride, nor would they want to. Harnessed carseats give kids a comfortable place to sit that fits them, keeps them safe, and allows their parents’ arms to be free for other tasks.

There’s another reason brought up in a recent NPR article that had never occurred to me since I’ve always thought 04-13-things-your-flight-attendant-wont-tell-you-coffeeof the big injuries happening from turbulence—head and spinal injuries. Lap babies—kids under age 2 who can ride for free on planes in their parents laps—can interfere with drink service or tray tables and be burned by hot coffee. In fact, burns from hot drinks cause 39% of kid injuries on a plane. Service carts being pushed down the aisle can also pinch fingers.

“I think this is a really important reminder that the same things you need to worry about at home, you should worry about on a plane,”

– Dr. Benjamin Hoffman

Have you ever had a suitcase dropped on you from an overhead bin? I have. It hurts. Imagine what can happen to a lap child sitting in an aisle seat. Children in carseats are placed next to a window seat, which protects them from falling overhead baggage as well.

Many parents balk at spending money on a ticket for a child under age 2 when it’s not required. The only thing in an airplane that’s not required to be secured during takeoff, landing, and rough, turbulent flight is a child under age 2. What’s wrong with this picture? What magically happens at age 2 that makes that child’s health and life so much more valuable that he must occupy his own seat? Injuries to children on airplanes aren’t terribly common, but they can be reduced to zero by simple use of a carseat. That’s cheaper than the cost of the co-pay to the emergency room in your destination city right there.

Looking for more helpful information on flying the friendly skies with kids? Check out our related blogs on the subject:

Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel

The Ultimate Guide to What You Want to Take on A Plane

Flying with a Car Seat? Know Your Rights!

Lap Babies on Airplane – A Warning All Parents Must See

Flying with Kids & Carseats – the checked carseat controversy