New NHTSA Regulations Follow-Up: Should Car Seats Be Used On The Plane?

by Liliya on March 22, 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines on car seats only yesterday, but it already created great controversy and passionate discussions all over the web. While many parents are more than happy with new regulations and going to keep their toddlers rear-faced as long as possible, others point out at extremely limited legroom which causes toddlers to bent uncomfortably in rear-facing car seat.

Second section of new guidelines on older kids has started no less buzz. Its reccomended now to keep kids in booster seat up to 12 years and/or 4 feet 9 inches height. As some readers already pointed out its almost the height of grown-up person. In addition, wouldnt it be awkward for your pre-teen in jr. high to ride in car seat?

But there’s even more to it – as we know, current U.S. law does not require a carseat for an infant in flight. Now American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants the federal government to order airlines to end the long-standing policy of allowing children under age 2 to sit on their parents’ laps, especially during takeoffs, landings and turbulence. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends that children be securely fastened in child safety seats until 4 years of age, then be secured with the airplane seat belts. This will help keep them safe during takeoff and landing, or in case of turbulence.

Hovewer heres the catch to FAA regulations – airlines are not required to allow the use of child seats, even if they are approved by FAA. That means you can spend money and time getting FAA approved car seat for flight, pay huge sum of money for your child’s own seat on the flight and still not be able to use it. We reccomend to make arrangements in advance with the airline, and get written confirmation of their approval for use of your seat on the flight.

Read more on using car seats on airplane at TravelWithYourKids.com

What is your experience with using car seats on the plane? Do you think it should be a mandatory? We would love to hear from you!

Photo courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brunoderegge/

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