The safest way to travel by plane with toddlers is using a car seat. Did you know that there is a way to travel without a car seat that is approved by the FAA as a safe alternative?
About the CARES Airplane Safety Harness:
The best way to describe it: The harness of the car seat without the car seat. This device attaches directly to the seat, securing your child using a five point harness that incorporates the airplane buckle.
The entire piece is small enough to stash into your handbag, or, of course, your carry-on suitcase. It comes with a travel bag to keep it intact. It also includes an instruction card, though the instructions are written on the harness as well.
Features and Proper Use:
- Appropriate for air travel, not car travel
- For children between 22 and 44 lbs, and up to 40 inches tall
- For children who are sitting in their own seat.
- Includes a 6 inch drawstring carry bag to contain it.
- Weighs less than one pound (11 ounces)!
- Easy to install and adjustable for different airplanes.
- For use in any airplane seat, besides for the emergency exit row seats (which are not allowed for car seats either.)
- Manufactured by AmSafe, manufacturer of many airplane seat belts worldwide, and produced according to those safety standards.
- Offers the equivalent level of safety to a car seat on flights.
- Certified by: the national air authorities in the following countries: Canada (TC), the UK (CAA), France (DGAC), Australia (CASA), New Zealand (CAA), Singapore (CAAS), Japan (JCAB), United Arab Emirates (GCAA), and Oman (DGCAM); and it is also approved for use by many international airlines.
What I love about the CARES harness:
When we travel on long haul flights, with a stopover, we need to pack heavy. Especially while traveling with a toddler, we need to pack enough diapers, food, clothing, and other essentials to allow for emergencies.
Dragging along a car seat as well, especially during a stopover, is impossible. Add to that the struggle of chasing a restless toddler while bogged down by all that baggage. Finding a solution that’s just as safe as a car seat, but can be stowed into a handbag can be the straw that allows us to fly safely, and book a separate seat for our baby.
To add to the struggle, the budget airline that we tend to use often gives parents a hard time with bringing a car seat on board. They definitely allow them to be gate-checked, however we’ve seen them give parents with car seats a hard time, even when they paid for an extra seat… (You get what you pay for…?)
The CARES harness is definitely a game changer. It takes up as much space as a bag of chips, and weighs as much as a loaf of bread.
Not only that, but it’s easy to use and to adjust. I’ve practiced with it a bit, and I find it easier to adjust than most car seat buckles. You can see the embedded video below for a closer look:
While I have not yet used this in-flight, my first impressions from playing around with it are amazing. I will update this post with photos and feedback once I have used it in-flight (in about six weeks – so stay tuned).
Connect with CARES – Kids Fly Safe
Disclaimer: I received the product mentioned above free of charge to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.