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Monday, August 25th, 2014
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.”
Follow our six tips for surviving air travel with kids.
Photo of sleeping baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Monday, August 26th, 2013
The Singaporean airline Scoot is the latest company to ban children 12 and under from areas of its planes. Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia X previously established child-free sections on their planes, and it’s part of a larger, ongoing trend of businesses with “no kids allowed” policies.
Here’s more on Scoot’s child ban from ABC News:
For a $14 upgrade, Scoot passengers can sit within the “ScootinSilence” area, a 41-seat cabin prohibiting anyone under the age of 12 under. The child-free zone advertises itself under the auspice of ensured peace and quiet. It also offers additional legroom via Super or S-T-R-E-T-C-H seats, “offering 35″ pitch – “4 more inches than the standard economy seat,” according to the carrier’s website.
Scoot is not the first to kick kids out of certain areas. Malaysian Airlines has long denied children access to first class and introduced an adults-only section in economy in 2012. Meanwhile, AirAsia introduced a “Quiet Zone” to its aircrafts last year.
While offering child-free zones may seem extreme to some, it beats being bumped off a flight for tending to an unruly toddler. That’s what happened to a Rhode Island family flying back from Turks and Caicos last year on JetBlue. At the time, the airline said the decision had been made at the captain’s discretion after a prolonged period of disruption prior to takeoff.
The anti-kid trend is reflected in other areas of the hospitality industry, with an increasing number of restaurants banning children.
Readers, what do you think of child-free zones on airplanes?
Image: Toddler on plane, via Shutterstock
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Monday, July 16th, 2012
A New York congressman has introduced a piece of legislation that would keep families from being forced to sit apart from each other on commercial airline flights. “Air travel is complicated and expensive enough for families without adding new stresses,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in a statement announcing the legislation, called “Families Flying Together Act of 2012.” The statement continued:
As airlines change policies and increase fees for a variety of basic services, it is becoming more difficult for families to sit together on commercial flights. From airlines charging a fee to make advance seat assignments, to charging a premium for window or aisle seats, to eliminating advanced boarding for parents with small children, the obstacles for families are growing. There are increasing reports of people being separated from their children when they arrive to board the aircraft. When this happens, the only recourse is to rely on another passenger to willingly change seats. This is an inconvenience for everyone involved and not an efficient business practice. It is also potentially unsafe and traumatic for the families involved.
Image: Family getting on airplane, via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
Malaysia Airline has banned infants, defined on the airline’s website as any child under 2 years of age, from the first class cabins of its Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A380 superjumbo jets, AOL Travel reported Tuesday.
Bassinets were not installed in the first class cabins of either fleet of aircrafts, which makes it impossible for young children to travel in those cabins under airline rules. Bassinets are available in the business and economy class areas of the planes.
First class passengers had apparently complained about the noise made by infants, and the airline cited the high prices those passengers pay for their tickets as part of the reason for the baby ban. In a Twitter post, the airline’s CEO and managing director Tengku Azmil wrote, “Also hv many complaints from 1st class pax dat dey spend money on 1st class & can’t sleep due to crying infants.”
A February 2011 article in the Daily Mail reported that British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Emirates airlines were all considering offering “child-free” flights after a survey showed that three-quarters of business passengers consider children on flights to be “irritating.”
How do you feel about the Malaysia Airlines decision?
(image via: http://planesassy.com)
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