The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declared this week “Child Passenger Safety Week.”  The main goal of this event is to raise awareness of the importance of having the right safety seats for children who are passengers in cars. To this end, the NHTSA is promoting a National Seat Check on Saturday so parents and guardians can have an expert ensure that their child is in the correct type of seat and that it is installed properly. If you are not sure what type of seat is considered safe for children, check out this chart that details the varying state child seat safety laws.

Each year millions of children are passengers in planes, yet the guidelines for keeping them safe in the air are not as clear as they are for the road.  Children under the age of two are not required to have their own seat when flying. This means the adult they are traveling with is safely buckled into a seat, but the child’s safety is predicated on the strength of the person holding her.  In a piece published on MSNBC.com this week, Nora Marshall of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) asks this question of parents, “Why wouldn’t you want your child to be as well protected as you are?”

Unfortunately, the guidelines for protecting the children on airplanes are not determined by the NTSB, but by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Whereas the FAA’s stance is that children are safer in an approved child restraint system, they do not require that children be secured during air travel.   The NTSB will be hosting a live webcast, Child Passenger Safety in the Air and in Automobiles, on their website on December 9th.  This forum will educate the public and advocate for the protection of children as they travel on the road or in the air.

Do you think air safety guidelines should be given more consideration? We’d love to hear your comments.

Photo by Ma1974.

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