Chat Plus: Does a Toddler Traveling by Plane Need a Car Seat?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

During our online chat (most Mondays at 2 p.m.), you ask your travel questions and we answer them -- mostly. Here's one we couldn't get to last week.

I have a toddler who is a couple of weeks from being 2. I plan on buying him his own plane ticket, but does he need a car seat on the plane?

Technically, no, but by every other measure, yes: It's far safer than holding him as a "lap child" (allowed for children younger than 2) or strapping him into his airline seat with an adult-size seat belt (permissible for kids 2 and older). The Federal Aviation Administration "strongly urges" that kids who weigh less than 40 pounds fly in an FAA-approved car seat or flight harness. Find info on both on the FAA's Web site (http://www.faa.gov/passengers, click on "Flying with Children," then "Child Safety on Airplanes"). And remember to check with your airline for its own rules on child restraints.

-- K.C.S.


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