FAA Raises Awareness On Child Safety As Summer Travel Season Nears
By Daniel Baxter
May 16, 2012 - As part of the U.S. Department of
Transportation's National Transportation Week and to
kick off the summer travel season, the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) on Tuesday launched an education
effort to help parents and caregivers make informed
choices about their child's safety when they fly.
"Millions of people will take to the skies this summer,
and we are doing everything we can to keepair travelers
as safe as possible," said U.S. Transportation Secretary
Ray LaHood. "We want to make sure parents and caregivers
have the best information to keep their children safe
when they travel."
"It's important to remind everyone that the safest place
for a small child on an airplane is in an approved child
safety seat, not on an adult's lap," said Acting FAA
Administrator Michael Huerta.
The FAA has developed a new web site and online information
toolkit with information about how to keep children safe when
traveling by air. The site includes a downloadable tip sheet for
parents and caregivers and a video demonstration on how to
properly install a child safety seat on an airplane. The website
also includes helpful details about FAA-approved child harness
devices, and links to frequently asked questions.
The FAA is working with Airlines for America, the Association of
Flight Attendants, Consumers Union, and the American Academy of
Pediatrics to share this safety information with parents and
According to Consumers Union, "For years Consumer Reports has
advocated that all passengers should be properly restrained
onboard commercial aircraft, including children under 2. We
support the Department of Transportation's educational efforts,
so that parents and caregivers can make informed decisions about
using child restraint systems when flying. Consumer Reports also
urges the airline industry to support these efforts by providing
transparent information on child restraint system policies and
When purchasing airline tickets, parents and caregivers should
contact the air carrier to see if there are any discounts
available for children since buying a ticket for a child is the
only way to guarantee that a child safety seat can be used
"The top priority of America's airlines is the safety of our
passengers and crew, and we are pleased to be a part of the
important FAA educational awareness campaign, encouraging
parents to help keep our smallest passengers safe with approved
child safety seats," said Airlines for America President and CEO
Nicholas E. Calio.
Before flying, parents and caregivers should check to make sure that
their child restraint system is approved for use on an aircraft. This
approval should be printed on the system's information label or on the
"As first responders in the cabin, a Flight Attendant's foremost
responsibility is to help ensure the safety and security of all
passengers. Children should have the same protection adults have in the
airplane cabin and by using an approved child restraint device, even our
most vulnerable passengers will have much-needed protection in the event
of an emergency," said Association of Flight Attendants International
President Veda Shook.
The FAA recommends that a child weighing less than 20 pounds use a
rear-facing child restraint system. A forward facing child safety seat
should be used for children weighing between 20 and 40 pounds. The FAA
has also approved one harness-type device for children weighing between
22 to 44 pounds.
"The AAP strongly recommends that children should always ride properly
restrained on every trip, on the ground and in the air. For this reason,
we are pleased to support the FAA's efforts to educate parents on safe
airplane travel," said Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP, president, American
Academy of Pediatrics. "The safest place for a child under two on an
airplane is in a child safety seat, not on a parent's lap. Whenever
possible, parents should travel with a safety seat for use before,
during and after a plane ride."
In December 2010, a group of aviation stakeholders known as the Future
of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC) delivered 23 recommendations to
the Secretary and FAA Administrator on workforce development,
competition and viability, financing of aviation systems, environmental
concerns, and safety. Based on some of those recommendations, the FAA is
stepping up efforts to educate parents about the importance of using a
child restraint for air travel.
Tuesday's announcement is just one way the Department of Transportation
is celebrating National Transportation Week (May 14th-20th). Over the
next seven days, the Department is highlighting its commitment to
ensuring the safety of America's transportation systems this week and
all 52 weeks of the year.
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