Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
without changing tables, airline meals
that feature your children's least favorite
• Ha ve a long talk with y our childr en
before y ou depar t for y our trip . I f
they've nev er flo wn befor e, explain to
them what to expect. I f they 're old
enough, you may even want to describe
how flight wor ks and ho w air trav el is
even safer than riding in a car . Explain
to y our kids the impor tance of good
behavior in the air—ho w their o wn
safety can depend upon their being
quiet and staying in their seats during
the trip.
Pay extra car eful attention to the
safety instr uctions befor e takeoff .
Consult the safety chart behind the seat
in fr ont of y ou and sho w it to y our
children. B e sur e y ou kno w ho w to
operate the o xygen masks, as y ou will
be expected to secur e y ours first and
then help your children with theirs. B e
especially mindful of the location of
emergency exits. B efore takeoff , plot
out an ev acuation strategy for y ou and
your children in your mind's eye.
• Ask the flight attendant if the plane
has any special safety equipment for
children. Make a member of the cr ew
aware of any medical pr oblems y our
children have that could manifest dur-
ing flight.
Be sur e y ou've slept sufficiently for
your trip. If you fall asleep in the air and
your child manages to break away, there
are all sor ts of sharp objects that could
cause injur y. Especially during meal-
times, it 's danger ous for a child to be
crawling or walking ar ound the cabin
unaccompanied by an adult.
Be sure your child's seat belt r emains
fastened pr operly, and tr y to r eserve
the seat closest to the aisle for y ourself.
This will make it har der for y our chil-
dren to wander off—in case, for
to nod off . You will also pr otect y our
child from jostling passersby and falling
objects—in the rar e but entir ely possi-
ble instance that an o verhead bin pops
In the ev ent of an accident, unr e-
strained children often don't make it—
even when the par ent does. E xperience
has shown that it's impossible for a par-
ent to hold onto a child in the ev ent of
a crash, and children often die of impact
For the same reason, sudden turbulence
is also a danger to a child who is not
buckled into his o wn seat belt or seat
restraint. According to Consumer Reports
Travel Letter, the most common flying
injuries result when unanticipated tur-
bulence strikes and hur tles passengers
from their seats. (S ee “Child S eats:
They're a Must,” above, for suggestions
regarding FAA-promoted child-restraint
Try to sit near the lav atory, though
not so close that y our children are jos-
tled by the cr owds that tend to gather
there. Consolidate trips ther e as much
as possible.
• T ry to accompany childr en to the
lavatory. They can be easily bumped
and possibly injured as they make their
way do wn tight aisles. I t's especially
dangerous for children to wander while
flight attendants ar e blocking passage
with their ser vice car ts. O n cr owded
flights, the flight cr ew may need as
much as an hour to ser ve dinner . I t's
wise to encourage y our kids to use the
restroom as you see the attendants pr e-
paring to serve.
• Be sure to bring clean, self-containing
compact to ys. Leav e electr onic games
at home. They can inter fere with the
aircraft navigational system, and their
noisiness, ho wever lulling to childr en's
ears, will sur ely not win the fav or of
your adult neighbors. Magnetic checker
sets, on the other hand, ar
instance, you're taking the r ed-eye or a
long flight overseas and you do happen
e a per fect
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