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Airplanes to Change Baby Lap Rule

Will Airlines Change the Way Babies Travel?

Airlines have made many efforts to take the difficulty out of traveling with children. From hiring in-flight nannies to discounted tickets, these amenities put parents at ease at 30,000 feet. Unfortunately, these same perks could also put your child at risk.

Recent reports suggest parents are skipping necessary safety measures when flying with babies and toddlers. The Federal Aviation Administration allows children 2 and younger to sit on their parents' laps during flights. If parents choose this option, they are supposed to strap their child into the seat with them. Many forget, however, which can cause problems during a bumpy flight. As a result, many organizations are pushing the FAA to reconsider their rules.

According to, the National Transportation Safety Board recommends that the FAA "require separate seats for all passengers on planes" and "child-restraint systems when traveling with kids." Similarly, Safe Seats For Every Air Traveler has been fighting to end the "lap baby" rule ever since 1989, when a child died in a plane crash as a result of the rule.

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MollieDelZompo MollieDelZompo 2 years
That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!!!! I'm an American living in London, who travels often to continental Europe. Within the UK and Europe, whenever you fly with a child under 2, they bring you a little tandem seatbelt that goes around the baby and attaches to your seatbelt via a little loop. The first time I flew to the US with my infant daughter, we asked for one, & the American crew just looked at us like we were sprouting new heads. It felt so unsafe without it, but the solution is NOT to require parents to buy an extra seat and lug a heavy car seat with you in order to strap the baby in (traveling alone with my daughter on a transatlantic flight, with the enormous diaper bag required for such a long flight & all the other gear, it would not have been possible to add in a heavy car seat, too, for restraining the baby in her own seat). The tandem seatbelt is such a safe and easy solution and doesn't require additional financial or physical burden to be placed on parents. I don't understand why the FAA won't simply consider best practices from around the world before leaping to a punitive solution that places hardship on everyone.
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