NTSB Wants Infant Air Travelers in Car Seats

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    NEWSLETTERS

    � Royalty-Free/CORBIS

    The National Transportation Safety Board wants parents to buy a separate plane ticket for infants and then to strap them into the plane seat using a car seat.

    Currently, kids under the age of 2 fly free because they can sit on a parent's lap.

    The NTSB said it's impossible for a parent to hold on to their child during a crash and that an infant could become a dangerous projective.

    The Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Transport Association, which represents the air carriers, agree with the NTSB.  But, in 2004, the FAA decided not to require families to buy an airline seat for infants because they believed the increased cost would force money conscious travelers to drive instead of fly, putting the children on the more dangerous interstates -- causing more deaths than it may save.

    "American families are on the go, and children today are frequent travelers almost from the time they are born," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "Much more should be done to reduce fatalities and injuries of our smallest travelers, whether they are in a jumbo jet or their family's car."

    The agency will have a one-day forum Thursday where they will address the overall issue of child safety when traveling in airplanes or cars. The forum, titled "Child Passenger Safety in the Air and in Automobiles", will be held at the NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, D.C. Parents, care givers, and others interested in child safety are encouraged to view the forum in person or by webcast on the NTSB's website, www.ntsb.gov. The forum runs until 5:30 ET.

    NBCDFW's Susy Solis contributed to this report.