The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been asking the government to make it compulsory for ages, without success and now they will be trying to persuade the general public to do so voluntarily – buckle their infants into child safety seats on planes.
There have been incidents reported where due to plane turbulence, babies were flung from their parent’s lap where they were being held, with serious consequences. NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman remarked that parents were ordinarily so careful about strapping their kids into car seats; then why weren’t they as careful about doing the same aboard airplanes.
As of now parents are free to hold their infants in their laps on board planes and to secure them with their own seat belts.
However according to experts, in an accident, it is impossible for parents to hold on to the baby, because a mishap could “turn a 20-pound child into the equivalent of a 100-pound missile.” So there is an argument in favor of child restraints to use on board aircraft, say experts.
Though the Federal Aviation Administration, the government agency that regulates airlines, is of a similar view that babies should be sitting in approved seats or restraints when flying, this rule that permits infants to be in parental laps is unlikely to change, not at least in the near future.