Take Safety to the Sky - Tips from the
National Safe Kids Campaign on Flying with Children and Car Seats
While flying is still the safest way to travel long distances, preventable
injuries can happen. The people at highest risk of injury and, in rare
cases, even death are those who are not buckled up correctly.
“Some parents unknowingly put their children at risk when flying with them
on their laps,” said Heather Paul, Ph.D., executive director of the
National SAFE KIDS Campaign. “All children 40 pounds and under should be
in child safety seats on airplanes. Older children and adults should be in
Correctly using a child safety seat on an airplane protects a child during
turbulence and in some emergency situations. In addition to increasing
safety during the flight, traveling with your child’s safety seat can help
ensure that your child is safe during ground transportation once you reach
To reduce the risk of injury, SAFE KIDS offers helpful safety tips to help
make traveling less stressful for parents and keep children safe on
Choose a child safety seat that is appropriate for the child’s size and
Children should ride facing the rear of the
aircraft until they are at least 12 months old and weigh at least 20
pounds. Rear-facing infant seats generally fit best on airplanes, but
rear-facing convertibles can also be used.
Children over age 1 who weigh 20 to 40
pounds can ride facing the front of the aircraft. Forward-facing or
convertible safety seats can be used.
Children who weigh more than 40 pounds
should be snugly secured by aircraft safety belts. While booster seats and
some harness vests enhance safety in automobiles, they are banned from use
during aircraft taxi, take-off and landing.
Determine whether your current child safety
seat can be used on an airplane look for a label that says “This Restraint
is Certified for Use in Motor Vehicles and Aircraft.”
Belt-positioning booster seats, backless
child restraint systems and certain harnesses cannot be used. They will be
labeled with the statement “This Restraint is Not Certified for Use in
Child safety seats that are wider than 16
inches will not fit on airplane seats. Most others will fit on the seat,
though some may be challenging to install with airplane safety belts.
Buy a ticket for your child, and inform the
reservations or travel agent if you will be traveling with a young child
and a child safety seat:
Many airlines offer discounted tickets for
children under 24 months old who will be traveling in child safety seats.
Some airlines also offer discounted child fares for children between ages
2 and 4.
Ask whether the specific airline has
policies for transporting children.
If possible, avoid the busiest days and
times to fly so you and your child will have adequate space.
If you select your own airplane seats, be
sure to choose adjacent seats for yourself and your child.
The child safety seat must be installed in
a window seat, so other passengers are not blocked from exiting the row.
Children cannot ride in emergency exit
If you need to change planes to make a
connecting flight, most airlines can help you transport your child,
luggage and safety seat if arranged in advance.
To complete your trip, here are few more
important travel tips:
Ensure that all adult and child passengers
are correctly restrained by safety belts and child safety seats while
traveling to and from the airport, no matter how short the trip.
All children ages 12 and under should ride
properly restrained in a back seat.
Make sure that the vehicle you will be
riding in when you reach your destination has an adequate number of safe
seating positions and safety belts.
Even if you cannot use a booster seat
during air travel, bring it with you for use in motor vehicles. Children
over 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt-positioning boosters or
other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts
fit correctly (around age 8).
Any child safety seat must be installed and
used according to the manufacturer instructions.
Click here to view Air
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