Flying with Your Baby: Is It Safe?

Making infant air safety a priority

Freak accidents can make parents question the safety of air travel with infants.

In the past week, air travel safety has been front and center in the news due to two scary stories about freak accidents involving airplanes.

Stories like these can make parents stop and ask: Is it really safe to fly with my baby?

While fear for your child's safety is understandable, it should be noted that flying is actually one of the safest ways to travel. The accident this week that resulted in a death on a Southwest Airlines flight was the first commercial flight fatality in the United States since 2009, meaning that hundreds of millions (yes, millions) of flights have kept passengers safe in the past nine years.

None of this is to say that you shouldn't take precautions when flying with an infant, because even though the risk of death is extremely low, there are other safety factors that come into play when flying with a baby. Parents have to take into consideration flight turbulence, air pressure changes, and worst of all, germs (shudder!).

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Infant Air Safety

Here are just a few ways to keep your child safe from injury and germs on your next flight:

Buy your baby a seat

While flying with your child on your lap will save money, the best way to ensure that your child can be safe and secured during times of turbulence is to purchase a seat and bring a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved car seat. The FAA states

"Did you know that the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system (CRS) or device, not on your lap? Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight, "It’s the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination."

Protect your baby's ears

Changes in cabin pressure can wreak havoc on an adult's ears, causing pain and pressure. Babies can experience the same pain and pressure as adults, but they don't know how to deal with it, so they end up irritable and crying. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best way to equalize the pressure in your baby's ears is to offer him or her a breast, bottle or pacifier to suck on during take-off and landing. 

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Wash your hands frequently. 

Airplanes are notoriously germy locations, so it's important to keep your hands, and anything else - baby toys, phones, books, pacifiers, etc. - that will come in contact with your baby, clean. Wiping down seats, armrests, tray tables, and windows with sanitizing wipes will add an extra layer of protection.

By taking just a few precautions, air travel with your baby can be both safe and convenient, making it that much easier to fulfill your travel dreams. 

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