I came across this article which I must definitely share with you guys as I'm very interested to know your thoughts on this.
For your convenience, I have copied some of the excerpts from the article here:
"Infants and young children could be required to be belted in their own airline seats instead of being held on their parents’ laps, if the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s latest recommendations are adopted.
“In some cases of severe turbulence, or a sudden deceleration, or an accident, parents simply can’t hang on to the baby as hard as they might try,” said Kathy Fox, chair of the Transportation Safety Board, in a telephone interview. “That’s why they need to be in a separate seat.”
The recommendations were released this week as part of a report into a Perimeter Aviation crash in December 2012, in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, where a 6-month-old baby, who was being held by his mother, was killed when the small turboprop overshot the runway as pilots tried to land a second time in bad weather.
If Transport Canada were to mandate the changes, it would mean every child, even those under 2, who are currently allowed to fly for free if held by parents in their arms, would need to have his or her own seat. That would likely bring higher costs for families wanting to travel by air. “If the baby had been in his own seat, with a proper seat restraint system, he would have had a better chance of survival, given that everybody else survived,” said Fox.
While airlines offer a financial incentive to hold a child under 2 in the lap of an adult, Fox argued it is something parents will have to address, because kids are simply safer in their own seat, in an approved child restraint system.
“It’s comes down to basic physics,” she said. “Young children aren’t suitably restrained at critical times of flight, during takeoff and landing and turbulence, they are exposed to more risk."
According to one of the T&C of our carrier flights:
"An infant may travel provided he sits on an adult's lap. Only one (1) infant is allowed for one (1) adult. No perambulators are allowed on board the aircraft."
Personally, I am quite conflicted with this - I guess it depends on the child's age.
A child under a year old might not be able to sit up straight, so how is it feasible for them to be belted in their individual seat? Wouldn't holding them be safer?
A toddler (above 1 year old) who can stand up, climb up and wriggle out might be able to wriggle out of their seatbelt which defeats the purpose of securing them during takeoffs or landings. In this situation, it would be safer for the toddler to be held by the parents/adults in-charge I feel.
During our recent holiday trip to Thailand, I had to hold our 1.5 years old girl on my lap as well, but she has on an infant seatbelt which was hooked onto mine - refer picture shown below. I personally feel it is safer for her to be on my lap, belted in with my seatbelt.
I am not sure how flights of other countries works when it comes to infant passengers.
Do share your thoughts and/or experiences on this!
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