The National Transportation Safety Board will focus on child passenger safety aboard airplanes and in automobiles during a public forum scheduled for Thursday at its L'Enfant Plaza headquarters.
NTSB chief Deborah A.P. Hersman will chair the one-day forum, with all five members of the board scheduled to participate.
NTSB officials said three panels will address a range of issues, including safety risks for children in vehicles and airplanes; "best practices for protecting children when traveling"; design improvements of safety restraints and vehicles; and ways to increase use of child seats and seat belts.
Earlier this fall, the Federal Aviation Administration recommended that parents flying with children this holiday season use approved child safety restraints aboard airplanes.
In August the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that flight rules be changed to require child safety seats on planes for children less than 2 years old. The FAA says it does not mandate the use of child restraint systems "on commercial airplanes because a mandate would require parents to purchase an extra airline ticket for their child," forcing more parents to drive, which is statistically more dangerous than flying.
The forum is slated to for 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 429 L'Enfant Plaza in Southwest Washington. It will also be available live on the NTSB's Web site.