What is LapKidz?
LapKidz is a 15-ounce, hands free, seat that attaches to TWO places on your seat belt. It's always ready to protect against unexpected turbulence. You never have to unbuckle yourself to use it or adjust it. It sits low and tight on your lap, and your baby will not come off your lap even if you're not holding on.
In sled testing of the LapKidz seat by an independent facility, where a CRABI instrumented child dummy on the lap of an ATD/adult crash dummy, was performed hands free, LapKidz outperformed all of the forward facing car seats tested by the FAA by a wide margin. The LapKidz head injury criterion was well below the limit set in FMVSS 213.
From the FAA in the Federal Register regarding car seats: "All eight forward-facing CRSs that were tested, when restrained with aircraft seat belts and subjected to the 16g longitudinal aircraft deceleration, failed to prevent the head from impacting the forward seatback. Routing the aircraft seat belt through a forward-facing CRS and buckling, adjusting proper tension, and unbuckling it was difficult, leading to the conclusion that some CRSs might not be easily and adequately secured to aircraft seats."
It will restrain your child while bottle/breast feeding on climb out/descent to help with ear pressure pain. It can be positioned in four directions. The child's weight is comfortably supported on your lap, it can be laid back for sleeping, and keeps the baby and you cool. No more balancing the baby on your thigh and hanging on for dear life. It helps reduce squirming since they're in a chair and not your lap.
The adjustable and foldable seat is usable for newborns up to two-years-of age and can be used at all times while the flight is in the air on ALL major airlines. It's been used by parents in all 50 states and overseas. It also has many other uses at home and while traveling.
Why did we invent it?
We are aviation safety and training professionals with over 40 years of combined experience. Both founders have four-year degrees in Aerospace Studies and Aerospace Science. We watched as most infants/toddlers flew unrestrained every day while a well-meaning discussion ran on for thirty years without resolution. (Covered below in the FAA section)
We've seen first hand how fast unexpected turbulence can launch unrestrained objects in the cabin. Children have been thrown from their parent's arms. We had our own close call with a lap child and wanted to provide a solution so you don't deal with that situation ever, ever, ever. No child should be loose in an aircraft cabin during a flight. We understand that buying a separate seat isn't always feasible and want to make sure that parents have options for their infant or toddler.
So, we brainstormed to make an affordable, lightweight seat that is easy enough to transport whether a toddler has their own seat or not. It can be used the entire time the flight is in the air, and you never have to unbuckle yourself to use it. It can be used to bottle feed, breast feed on climb out to help reduce ear pain. It lays back for comfortable sleeping and for tiny infants can be faced towards you all while attached to the aircraft seat belt. It has other uses outside of air travel. It sits low and tight on your lap during turbulence, and won't fly up in your face like a carrier or sling can.
Although, parents are free to purchase a separate seat, most choose to fly with a lap child. Even those who purchase a separate seat often end up with a child on their lap. LapKidz can work for any situation and it's comfortable for parent and child so they'll stay in it longer.
The FAA has said in a 2010 safety conference that supplemental belt protection can help against turbulence. Open top carriers and wraps that use gravity won't keep a child secured in severe turbulence. Carriers also sit too high on the chest and can only be positioned one direction.
What is the FAA stance on flying with a lap child?
The FAA allows children under two to ride on the lap of an adult. They encourage parents to buy a seat for their child. (Turbulence being the number one reason.) We think that's a great option too, but most families don't purchase the extra seat for a number of reasons, which leaves a child unrestrained.
Why allow it? The FAA says that if families have to bear the expense of another airline ticket for children under two it will force some families to drive. We agree with this assertion and have heard it many times from parents. An FAA study determined that if you make buying a separate seat mandatory; in 10 years you might save one child but you could kill over 40 on the road and injure thousands of children.
The FAA's findings are supported by NHTSA which developed the curriculum for child passenger safety technician (CPST) certification with safekids.org. A NHTSA spokesmen said that "we support the FAA's policy as it's in the best interest of safety for the traveling public."
The FAA is right. The odds of a fatal car accident is 1 in 5000. The odds of a fatal commercial flight is 1 in 11 million. It's more dangerous to drive to the airport than to take a flight. You're more likely to have a fatal escalator accident. Flying in the U.S. is MUCH SAFER than driving. Over 35,000 people a year die on our highways with over 1,000 being children. 100,000 children are injured on U.S. roads every year.
Complicating matters is that all car seats don't fit all aircraft and some flights don't offer the option of buying a separate seat. Also, a recent study showed that 75% to 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly in cars when you have all the time you need. How efficiently are they installed during the short boarding process in a confined space?
So, is turbulence really an issue?
Yes! This is the big issue. Look at these recent turbulence news stories.
If you just read those news stories, don't be afraid to fly, unexpected turbulence can't hurt the aircraft but it CAN happen at any time you're in the air and can hurt anyone that is unrestrained. A plane flying 500 MPH only has to experience a sudden 20 foot drop to launch a child off the lap.
In the last few years, hundreds of people have been seriously injured by turbulence. All those injured were NOT wearing a seat belt. These are injuries serious enough for medical attention. These numbers don't include people with lesser injuries.
Airlines are a wonderful and safe way to travel, but we've experienced severe turbulence with children and wanted parents to have an affordable and effective option.
For more information on how to best use the seat go to the "How LapKidz Works" menu.
Copyright © Timothy Testa | All Rights reserved
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