If you're thinking of bringing your infant on a flight anytime soon, think again, new research suggests.
While in-flight deaths are rare, a new study has found a pattern among children who did die. Most were healthy children under the age of 2 who were sitting in an adult's lap during a commercial airline flight, according to research published in the journal, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. The study tracked recorded incidents on thousands of medical emergencies on airlines from 2010 to 2013.
While this study is the first of its kind, research suggests that lap infants were at a greater risk of dying due to in-flight environmental factors, such as sharing a seat with an adult and dangerous co-sleeping arrangements, said Dr. Alexandre Rotta, lead researcher on the study and chief of pediatric critical care at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland.It is also possible that lower oxygen levels on planes could harm infants' immature respiratory systems, Fox News reports. The study also noted that there could be another factor that is causing these deaths that has yet to be identified.
"I hope our findings lead to further research on this important subject," Dr. Rotta said. "It is my belief the pattern we discovered should promote the development of preventative strategies and travel policies to protect the health of all pediatric airplane passengers, especially infants."
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Photo of sleeping baby courtesy of Shutterstock.