Defining the age of term ‘Child’

In one of our family discussions over Christmas, it came up about child fares versus the legal term child.

In legal terms you are a child until you become an adult which is legally defined on average as somewhere between the ages of 18 and 21, depending on where you live. As a result, you are generally not legally allowed to live independently until this age or able to financially support yourself.

Yet if you are on a plan, you can only have a child ticket until you are about 12, at theme parks I have seen the child age limit range between 10 & 16, movie theatres often seem to classify a child somewhere between 13 & 15, and even public transport will only accept older children paying a child’s fare with a student ID. If they are 16 and don’t have one, tough luck.

But child support payments must be paid until children are legally adults, children most likely won’t be properly employed until they are legally adults. Many young adults these days still are not financially independent for a couple of years due to studying at university. So how is it that commercial places can get away with claiming 12 year olds aren’t children?

There are three ways it can be looked at. The first is to say that a child shouldn’t be classified as anything else until they are legally an adult. The second way to look at it is based on financial independence; the idea that a parent paid less for a dependant. The third way to look at it is based on size. On a plane for example, there can be a large 13 year old who is the same size as an adult female.

However, other than size there is no excuse for these commercial places to put the child age so low just to make extra money and even for a plane the size is a flimsy excuse, I doubt the plane would need more fuel just because it had a few taller children on it.

What do you think? Is this just another way to make money or is there a justified reason for the age of a child being ambiguous in commercial places.

Krystal xx

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