National Transportation Safety Board Panel Advocates Use of Child Restraint Systems

January 2nd, 2011

Aero-News Network 12-10-10

Use of Child Restraint Systems Should Be Mandatory Says Panel at NTSB Forum

Participating on the Aviation Child Passenger Safety panel at theNTSB’s forum on child passenger safety Thursday, AFA-CWA International President Pat Friend reiterated the union’s longstanding call for separate seats and restraints for passengers less than two years of age. “As flight attendants, we are required to secure all items in the cabin, galley and lavatories; from carry-on bags to coffee pots. We do this because we are trained that in an emergency loose items can be dangerous if flying through the cabin. A lap child has the potential to be one of those ‘loose items’ that may not only suffer serious injury themselves but also injure others,” said Friend. NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in her opening remarks that the forum marked the beginning of a year-long effort by the Board to promote child passenger safety across all modes of transportation. “Safety for our smallest travelers should not be considered optional or a luxury,” said Chairman Hersman. For over 20 years, AFA-CWA has advocated for the mandatory use of child restraints in aircraft and supported the NTSB’s recommendations that the Federal Aviation Administration require all infants and small children use safety seats during takeoff, landing and turbulence. Unfortunately, the union contends, the FAA’s decision to continue allowing children under the age of two to be held on a parent’s lap gives many parents the false impression that this practice is safe.