There’s nothing more important than taking steps to help ensure a safe flight for every member of the family. I had a chance to catch up with Mario Cattabiani, who gave me a few recommendations on how to keep kids safe when traveling by air.
1. Use A Child Safety Restraint System
Though your arms might be the best place for your child for cuddling, they are not the safest place for him or her when flying in an airplane. Taking off, landing and air turbulence can at times make for a bumpy ride. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the safest place for your on-board child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system (CSRS).
A child safety restraint system is any hard-backed child seat that is approved for use in both automobiles and on airplanes. The Federal Aviation Administration controls the approval of most — but not all — CSRS devices, so make sure your child’s seat contains the following language on the label: “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” If your child’s seat is not labeled in this way, you may be asked to check it in with your other baggage since it is not approved by the FAA.
2. Get Your Child His or Her Own Seat
Although riding in your lap may seem like the nicest way for your child to travel by plane, air turbulence can happen at any time during a flight, and children who are not properly restrained can drop off of your lap or fall and be injured in the process. In the unlikely event of an emergency during your flight, having your child in a child safety restraint system will allow you to better care for his or her needs in terms of securing oxygen.
3. Sit Down and Stay There
For their own safety, children should remain in their car seats for the duration of the flight. To keep your child occupied, pack a carry-on bag with favorite books, toys and snacks. Take enough diapers or pull-ups and infant formula to cover runway delays or other hold-ups.
For toddlers and older children, there should be water and juice available from the flight attendant, or you can purchase them from an airport store after passing through security. If the flight is long, take your older child to the restroom at appropriate intervals and only when the pilot has announced that it is safe for passengers to move about the cabin and has turned off the fasten safety-belt sign.
Special thanks to Mario Cattabiani with the law firm Ross Feller Casey, for the tips!
Want more travel tips from Miss A’s Jet Set Diva? Connect with Kara Franker on Twitter or leave a comment! What safety standards do you follow when traveling with kids?