Babies Suffer Broken Spines During Turbulent Flight

baby on plane

This story will make you think twice about ever flying with an infant on your lap. Three babies are fighting for their lives after they suffered broken spines when they were thrown out of their moms' arms due to extreme turbulence on a flight from Moscow to Bangkok.


These poor babies were among two dozen people injured on the Aeroflot Boeing 777 on Monday. Vladimir Sosnov, deputy head of Russian Consulate in Thailand, noted that most of the adults who were injured did not have their seat belts fastened. A passenger posted a video of the aftermath, and it is frightening and truly eye-opening. 


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Because you never know when an aircraft may encounter less-than-smooth sailing, it's always a good idea to keep those belts fastened and secure when you're not en route to the bathroom or on your way back.

Still, our hearts break for these babies and their poor parents, who could never have anticipated this. No one is eager to fly with a newborn -- not parents, certainly not fellow passengers, and, most likely, not the flight attendants. But if you have to, it's definitely worth it to look into every safety measure you can take.

If you absolutely must fly with a baby or toddler, consider buying them their own seat on the plane and bringing your infant car seat along, as most are certified for air travel. While airlines may allow infants to sit on a parent or caregiver's lap while in flight, the Federal Aviation Administration advises that infants ride in properly secured safety seats whenever possible. Only take your child out of the safety seat when the crew notes that it's safe to move about the cabin and you feel you absolutely must.

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Turbulence isn't uncommon but it can be extremely dangerous. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, approximately 58 people in the United States are injured due to turbulence annually, with three fatalities occurring between 1980 and 2008. Two of those passengers were advised to wear their seat belts but didn't.

Of course, staying seated is hard because cabin pressure can trigger ear pain in infants. You may be tempted to remove them from their safety seats upon takeoff and landing, but the Mayo Clinic recommends offering baby a bottle or pacifier to neutralize pressure by sucking.

We wish these babies and all the passengers a full recovery. Though their story is terrifying, it's an important reminder to us all that accidents can happen when you least expect them. 

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