Flying With Kids? Make Sure to Check THIS
Oftentimes, people are nervous of flying with kids due to the possibility of delayed flights, bumpy flights, or even a plane crash. Flying is actually the number one fear of people around the world. However, the most common fears of flying may not be the only things that can go wrong. One girl on a flight from Washington DC to London learned this.
While on her flight with her grandmother, 4-year-old Daisy James was not expecting to receive an injury during her flight. However, she had the misfortune of having an airbag, that was located inside her seatbelt, explode into her face. The hot fumes of the bag burned Daisy’s face and severely injured her.
During the flight, the airbag in the seatbelt exploded suddenly, scarring Daisy’s thigh, arm, face, and chest, as well as cutting and bruising her body. The airbag in the seatbelt is designed to protect a plane’s passengers by using its sensors to detect an impending crash. When the sensors are alerted, the airbag protects a passenger’s head and torso by releasing up and away from the body.
Recent airline initiatives are looking to design a unique cabin environment for their planes, which are only possible due to aircraft restraint systems that are inflatable, so they do not take up much needed space unless in use. These advancements address the Head Injury Criteria, which is critical to new seat designs.
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Seat belt airbags are being used to come within the distance requirements between seats, in order to fit more seats onto each plane. The need for this added security drives the initiative for airbags to be readily available around the plane.
When Daisy’s flight landed, her face was swollen to triple its normal size. Paramedics rushed morphine to her as soon as she de-boarded the plane.
Months passed and Daisy continued to have nightmares about the accident. It was then that her family decided it was necessary to take legal action against Virgin Airlines. After a four year legal battle, Virgin admitted their fault and apologized to the family, awarding them a large settlement of money. Virgin Airlines has since stated that this was an isolated incident.
When in proper use, the occupant who hits the airbag is resisted by the increasing fumes that injured Daisy. This air pressure creates a gas spring. The bag fills to maximum capacity prior to the occupant’s head hitting the structure in front of them.
Because there is venting in the bag, there is a damper, which reduces the energy and rebound through the air flow throughout bag. This reduces the force from the seat belt, therefore reducing injury.
According to statistics, out of three plane crash fatalities, two result from the lack of wearing a seat belt. Most crashes happen during takeoff or landing, so it is most important to wear a seat belt at these times, as well as when the pilot turns on the seat belt light.
In order to check an airline seat belt for safety, ensure it is tightened around the waist, with the ability to fit two fingers in between the belt and the waist. Before taking off, make sure there are no rips to tears in the seat or the belt, in order to ensure that the airbag has not been tampered with.
Daisy’s misfortune was traumatizing to her and to her family. While airlines continue to improve their seat belt safety systems, the chances of this will continue to decrease. Ultimately, the inclusion of an airbag in the seat belt is much more likely to save a life than it is to cause another accident.