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"I would be surprised if anyone can come up with an instance of an lap-seated infant being harmed in an airline accident, when the child would have been OK in a car seat."

I can come up with two, Shawn. On January 20, 1990, an American Airlines DC-10 encountered turbulence near San Juan, Puerto Rico. The seat belt sign was on. A 7-week-old lap baby
sustained serious head injuries and was hospitalized with a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain. The baby was the only passenger who sustained serious injuries. Also, on January 25, 1990, an Avianca Airlines B-707 crashed in Cove Neck, New York. Among the passengers were 7 babies under 2 years old, all lap babies. A 4-month-old died. The six other babies all sustained serious injuries. It was determined by the NTSB that all these children would have escaped serious harm if they had been secured in child safety seats.