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Flying home with my granddaughter recently, she was thrilled to get to sit by two little girls about 7 and 8 who were traveling alone. They thoroughly enjoyed playing with Barbi and Troll dolls, while I sat across from them besides an 8-year-old little boy also traveling alone. I was impressed that the flight attendant took extra care to show each of the kids the safety cushions under their seat and the oxygen masks above them. The flight attendants are always good at checking on these “unaccompanied minors” but they also stay quite busy with their regular routines and can easily miss such things as unbuckled seatbelts mid-trip.
Being such a total “grandma,” I helped the little boy with his light and air, cautioned all the girls when they got a bit noisy, made sure my granddaughter stayed buckled in when not going to the restroom, and made sure the little boy next to me also stayed buckled in, and waited for the seat belt sign to go off before he went to the restroom. If he had been sitting by someone who just went right to sleep, he would, indeed, have headed to the bathroom too soon, and left his seat belt off for a good part of the trip. But thanks to me, he was safe throughout, had a good time, and was a perfect little sweetheart! 🙂
Thankfully, on our flight, all these precautions I took were pretty much unnecessary. Oh, we had a couple of bumps, but nothing major. I thought about that as I read a story on CNN today. Usually Harmless, Turbulence Can be Dangerous, Deadly, describes a recent Continental Airlines flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Houston, Texas. The plane hit a nasty pocket of air turbulence. Passengers were bounced around so bad, some went up and down two times! 26 passengers were hurt and seven were injured so badly that the plane had to be diverted and land early in Florida so those could be hospitalized. The article is very interesting, explaining that while deaths from this are rare, injuries do happen.
As I read this story, I thought about all our younger grandkids and kids, some as young as six, who are taking air travel flights alone through the year to visit parents and grandparents. Not to mention the elderly relatives I see on planes all the time, who aren’t always good about remembering to stay buckled.
This would be a good time to talk about air travel flights and safety with the aging parents we provide senior home care for, our grandchildren, etc. If we are unable to help by flying to them or with them, we can still help by teaching them that when they do fly alone, it’s important to stay buckled unless they actually have to get up to go to the bathroom, or stretch their legs briefly. (Moving a bit on a long flight can be important for our aging parents with a history of cardiovascular disease, stroke or thrombotic episodes (blood clots), as sitting too long in a confined space can also be dangerous – leading to DVT.)
The more we talk about seat belts on plane before a trip, the more likely our aging parents and/or younger grandkids will remember to do it. Then again, I had one older relative who never remembered to buckle in the car. I always had to remind him. So if you have an aging parent like that, you might also want to give airline personnel a heads up when escorting them to a plane.
Hopefully, you and your loved ones will never have to deal with something like this. But, as always, the Scout’s motto of “Be Prepared” works well for caregivers too. So spend a bit of time talking safety before their air travel flights, and enjoy a bit of peace of mind when your loved ones are flying.
That’s it for today’s “Current Events” at SandwichINK. For more interesting looks at today’s News Headlines, take a peek at The Surrendered Scribe. And have a safe and pleasant Current Events Thursday. 🙂