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Flying with baby just got easier

Sleeping child

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

KAI RYSSDAL: This final note before we go today . . . I just came back from vacation. We drove, we didn't fly, which was nice because with three kids there's a lot of stuff to carry on a plane. Until now, the only safe way to strap one of 'em in was to haul a car seat along. Kind of an inconvenient solution. But today, the FAA approved a harness that connects to a regular seatbelt. It weighs about a pound — way less than a car seat. The inventor is Mrs. Louise Stoll of Burlington, Vermont. She says her own family gave her the idea.

LOUISE STOLL: The inspiration for this was my oldest daughter visiting me and coming off a plane carrying a toddler, a diaper bag, big heavy car seat about 20 pounds and she was about seven months pregnant and that was when it dawned on me that there had to be a better way than the car seat.

RYSSDAL: Now I imagine you also had to get the Federal Aviation Administration to buy off on this as well?

STOLL: Well then that just started, you can't bring something like this on a plane, so three and a half years ago the process started with the Federal Aviation Administration.

RYSSDAL: Now we should say you're not the average 60-something grandmother of eight. You sorta know the ropes of the Department of Transportation.

STOLL: That is true.

RYSSDAL: You were there during the Clinton Administration, do I have that right?

STOLL: Yes I was the assistant secretary of the United States Department of Transportation for Budget and Programs for the first term of the Clinton Administration and halfway into the second term and then I returned into the private sector. But this episode with my daughter that inspired this came a number of years later.

RYSSDAL: Before I let you go, Mrs. Stoll, how are sales?

STOLL: Oh we don't know yet.

RYSSDAL: Aha.

STOLL: We are taking pre-orders at this point and as soon as inventory is up, which should be in a couple of weeks, we'll be sending them out.

RYSSDAL: Now if I need one, how much is it going to run me?

STOLL: $74.95

RYSSDAL: Louise Stoll thank you very much for your time.

STOLL: Thank you very much

RYSSDAL: That was Louise Stoll from her home in Burlington, Vermont. Her invention, a child harness for airplane seats, was approved today by the FAA.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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