Group says lap kids should be banned from airplanes
OKLAHOMA CITY —
A petition to the White House would mandate all children under the age of two have their own seat and child restraint device on an airplane.
Baby James is about to take his first flight but as first time parents Jimmy and Amy Neighbors aren't sure what to expect.
"We'll try and keep him as entertained and quiet as possible," said Amy.
To do that the couple plans to travel with James in their lap.
"We thought he might be a little more contented that way and it was one less thing to carry."
But the days of traveling with a child in lap could soon be over. A group known as "Safe Seats For Every Traveler" started a petition to the White House asking for a mandate that all children under the age of two be in their own seat with a child restraint device.
"The idea that you have to secure your suit case, you have to secure your carry on, you have to put your phone in your bag but you can hold your child in your lap is just unfathomable to us," said Katie Mueller, Executive Director of Safe Kids Oklahoma.
Mueller said the safest place for a child during a flight is in a car seat.
"We have seen kids get injured or die in survivable crashes and turbulence because they are not properly restrained in the airplane."
Buying an additional ticket for a child seat doesn't come cheap. leaving many folks split on the petition.
"It makes sense that it's one person per seat and a kid is a person too," said traveler Keith Brecheen.
"If I was a parent I definitely would not want to spend that much extra money if a kid could sit in my lap," added traveler Britni Halbert.
As for Amy, she is comfortable with her decision and feels safe with James in her lap.
"Air travel is a lot safer than ground travel so comparing statistics of accidents I think our chances are better off in the air."
The petition requires 100,000 signatures by October 5th. So far they have less than 800.