I came across the following article where the NTSB and FAA are at odds over the regs which provide for children under 2 years old to fly on their parents lap. It was interesting to note the comments… pretty much the same old, same old, parents arguing that they didn’t want to pay, and business travelers saying good riddance. One comment sort of stood out though. A parent said, I am responsible for my child, she doesn’t run up and down the aisles, she doesn’t throw tantrums… she is just fine in my lap.
Likely said parent, and the parents so gung ho about lap children have never experienced moderate/severe turbulence, much less CAT (clear air turbulence). I dont care how responsible you are, or how strong you are… if you experience major turbulence, you will not be able to hold unto your child… or in the worst case scenario, in a crash, you wont be able to hold onto your child. Granted, CAT is rare, accidents are rare… and if it was just your child who might be seriously injured or killed, I could sort of see the responsibility aspect. On the other hand, if your child becomes a missile and kills someone else as well as dieing themselves… parental responsibility doesnt go very far.
It was also interesting to note the availability of child harnesses such that a under 2yr old can be secured to the parents safety belt. Which such most certainly reduces the issue of a child becoming a missile… I dont know how well such would work in severe turbulence if the child was on a tether, rather than being tightly secured to the parent.