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Remove child's shoes to reduce kicking

By McClatchy News Services


Question: The first time I flew with a child in tow, I tried to analyze why a child (mine, normally well-behaved) would do something so out of character as to kick someone else's seat. I noticed the following:

1) Airline seats are not designed with children in mind, so a child's legs often hang at an odd angle or stick straight out, aimed at the seat in front of him.

2) A child's sneakers are often heavy, relative to the owner's size, and this compounds the discomfort of having his legs hanging at an odd angle. The discomfort often causes the child to shift more in the seat, trying to get comfortable.

3) Any time the child wants to shift in the seat, he naturally uses his legs. However, his legs are not braced against a floor — they're hanging in space. This results in him kicking the seat in front of him.

4) Children's shoes are designed to protect the foot. Therefore, the child feels far less impact than the person sitting in front of him.

I found that removing the child's shoes at the start of the flight alleviated a lot of everyone's discomfort. It won't stop the kicking (often accidental) altogether, but it will make the child more aware of it and less likely to do it out of sheer boredom.

Answer: I think all of those are good points. While parents are, of course, still responsible for making sure their kids aren't annoying other passengers, it's important for those other passengers to remember that kids are probably not kicking your seat for the specific purpose of annoying you. They don't fit well in the seats. Also, I love the idea of removing the child's shoes for the flight. Those little sneakers are chunky!

Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at deartripadvisor@tripadvisor.com.

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primo1 wrote:
I've had more problems with so-called adults kicking my seat (and general inconsiderate behavior) on airplanes.
on April 29,2013 | 01:52PM
sanababeets wrote:
I agree. On one of my flights the guy behind me put his tray table down and BANGED on them like he was playing the drums. SERIOUSLY?! Then I overheard him later (he spoke LOUDLY) telling others in his row that he's a doctor and lives in Hawaii Kai. I thought, "gee, for someone who's supposed to be so smart sure does lack simple common sense!"
on April 30,2013 | 10:39AM
silvangold wrote:
these high-fffaaaaluuutttiiinnnngggg ones are the WORST !!!! they think they are ENTITLED to every and all things and don't have to respect others....just because he's a doctor and he 'fixes' people. the worst ones....we can't live wit dem n we can't live witout dem slugs.
on May 1,2013 | 12:53PM
false wrote:
You'd think but the guys is plain stupid.
on May 2,2013 | 09:19AM
Who_Said wrote:
Now we just need a solution to stop them from crying...
on April 29,2013 | 05:09PM
false wrote:
Basically parent should teach their children NOT to kick the seat. What's so hard?
on May 2,2013 | 09:18AM
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