Will there be an extra oxygen mask for my baby on the airplane in case of depressurization?


Q: Is there an extra oxygen mask for my baby when we travel by plane?

I’ve seen the video of what to do if the plane depressurizes and I need to pull the oxygen mask down. They also say to make sure you put on your own mask before helping your baby or someone around you. I have to fly with my baby on my lap. She is only 14 months old. In case of depressurization, will there be a mask for him, or do I share mine?

A: Great question!  Every section in the plane as one extra oxygen mask just for this case (or if one is inoperable).  For example, if you’re in a section with three seats, there will be four masks that would fall down in the rare case of a depressurized cabin. That’s why you never see two lap babies in one section, unless one has his or her own seat. It’s also why families with two lap babies get split up on planes. In this case, don’t be surprised if you are asked to move across the aisle from each other or to another row.

This is true for all newer and large planes but might not be true on older or small planes.

You may wonder why the directions say to put your own mask on first before you help other family members. In case of sudden loss of cabin pressure, you have only about 30 seconds to put on your own mask and start breathing regularly before you risk lightheadedness or passing out.  The oxygen you will get is actually a mix of chemicals that result in the creation of oxygen. The process can create a burning smell which can be alarming in case of an emergency. The oxygen supply in these cases is enough to last about 15 minutes. That is long enough to cover most emergencies.

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