Flying with Children

Child safety

The safest place for your child under the age of two on a U.S. airplane is in approved child restraint system (CRS) or device, not on your lap. Your arms aren't capable of holding your in-lap child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence, which is the number one cause of pediatric injuries on an airplane.

The FAA strongly urges you to secure your child in an approved CRS or other approved device for the entirety of your flight. Buying a ticket for your child is the only way to guarantee that you will be able to use a CRS. It's the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination.

About Child Restraint Systems (CRS)

CRS is a hard-backed child safety seat that is approved by the government for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft. FAA controls the approval of some but not all CRS. Additional information is available in FAA guidance and on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website

Not all car seats are approved for use in airplanes. Make sure your CRS is approved by the U.S. government and has "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft" printed on it or is approved by a foreign government and bears the required label or marking.  

Required label for CRS Manufactured to U.S. Standards


Read the user’s manual to confirm that your CRS can be secured properly in an airplane seat. Otherwise, you may be asked to check the CRS as baggage.


Installing a CRS on an Airplane

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A CRS must be installed in a forward-facing aircraft seat, according to manufacturer's instructions. This includes placing the CRS in the appropriate forward-facing or aft-facing direction as indicated on the device label for the size of the child.

The FAA prohibits passengers from using booster seats or backless CRS during ground movement, take-off and landing.

FAA-Approved Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES)