The FAA published a new website to help parents learn about the use of child safety seats for travel on airplanes. The URL for the site is www.faa.gov/passengers/childtips.cfm. The web site provides recommendations and requirements for use of child safety seats and appears to be directed toward airline travel. However, having traveled with a young child in a Cessna 182RG as well as on the airlines, I can tell you first hand that the recommendations apply to private aircraft as well as airlines.
From a practical standpoint, a child strapped into his or her seat remains seated. This prevents the child from running up and down the aisle of an airliner or from squirming around and wreaking havoc on your weight and balance in a small airplane. At least in my case, I know my son prefers being in his seat. He feels more secure and the safety seat also raises him up higher than the airplane’s seat, giving him a better view out the windows.
Although carrying the safety seat with you can seem like an additional burden, it is in your child’s best interest. Aside from the extra weight, it can also ease your burden as a parent by keeping your child in his or her seat during the flight.
For more information about flying with children, check out the FAA’s new website.