|Quoting Rampart (Reply 9):|
I understand, but I have to disagree with your point here. Any danger is infrequent. But think about it: why do regular passengers need to belt up on the slightest indication of moderate turbulence? Not just for insurance regulations! Because severe turbulence -- and it does happen -- can send your head into the overhead bin. I don't want my toddler doing that! Airline seat belts are not designed for optimum safety for a child (I assume, I could be wrong), not to mention they are not the safer shoulder harneses found in a car. Therefore, a child is at risk even if belted into a regular airline seat, and even greater risk held in a parent's lap.
All of your points are correct, but only qualitatively. A child is at lowest risk while restrained in a car seat. A child is at higher risk while belted into a regular airline seat. A child is at higher risk again being held on an adult's lap. All true.
But... this risk can be measured. I understand that most people cannot actually comprehend the numbers that come from the measurement, but that's irrelevant. The real question is not "Is there risk?" Of course there's risk. No, the real question is, "How much risk is there?" The answer in all three cases is, essentially "none," "insignificantly more than none," and "insignificantly more than insignificantly more than none." The simple fact is that infants are not being killed or hurt while flying, as in, virtually none.
Here's a story to illustrate what I mean. I served at a large orange box home improvement retailer for 18 months. There we were building business intelligence applications, and I was the flag bearer of a new team using a new technology. While meeting with the existing team (who had spent three years with an older technology) I found myself at the table with a man who was legendary in the company. His prowess in our field is undeniable, and I observed that the client's employees never really confronted him on anything.
We were discussing a serious issue I had uncovered regarding a data model they had given me. Being completely unsuitable for my use, and not conforming to any known principles for excellence in multidimensional modeling, I was asking for a remodel. I was denied. I observed that my path then was to remodel virtually, an approach which would produce the desired results but may decrease the performance times when the software punches through its nightly cycles. I figured it would at least double the time required, but I observed that this would not be a problem because we were so far inside of our performance target that doubling was of no consequence.
What transpired next helped me immensely. The big dog across the table baited me a bit. He said, "Doubling is always significant." I reached into my pocket and pulled out a penny, and laid it on the table. I said, "Here is a penny." I then laid a second penny next to it and said, "I have now doubled the amount of money on the table. Two cents is double one cent, but neither will buy you very much." The rest of the team was somewhat mortified, but the statesman just smiled at me with a real twinkle in his eye. It was a moment I shall never forget, because I beat a quantitative man with his own stick when he baited me qualitatively.
This whole discussion about the risk associated with infants in flight is just like what I describe. YES, your infant has more risk on your lap than in a car seat. So what? It's like having two pennies instead of one.
Look, I'm a father. I have a toddler and an infant. We don't fly with them because I think it's cruel and unusual punishment for the rest of the people on the plane! But... I wouldn't have any problem carrying them on my lap because I don't think the risk amounts to anything at all.
How many of you who think I'm crazy for this opinion make your children wear helmets while riding in a car? If you don't, you illustrate my point. Children are killed and disabled everyday in cars due to head injuries; that risk is far more significant than the risk associated with sitting on an adult's lap while flying. Yet I'll bet not a single one of you do it.
Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!