Review – CARES Children's Airline Harness from Kids Fly Safe
CARES Child Aviation Restraint System is designed specifically for aviation use for children age 1 and older who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds. These youngsters are old enough to be in their own seats, but are too small for the seat belt alone to protect them and provide the safety they require during airplane travel. Their bodies cannot withstand the jolts that are common in routine air travel, much less emergency situations, and they flail forward or slide beneath the seat belt if they are not held securely in place.
So I went to Texas for a week to visit family. It was GREAT, but I have to admit, I was worried sick about the flights. See, I went by myself with the twins who are almost 3 years old now. The last time they flew was a year ago when my husband and I took them to New York City. That trip I had help – My husband and I were a team with the kids! But this trip.. 6 hours of flying split between two flights. Oh boy.
On my flight there I filled my backpack with some arsenal – trinkets and toy surprises, jelly beans, granola bars, iPads loaded with games, movies, and tv shows – and my CARES Child Aviation Harnesses. I was determined to keep the children busy and assumed they wouldn’t sleep. I was prepared for the worst and ready for battle.
The CARES Harnesses were super easy to use – they slipped around the seat and utilized a 4-point harness system – shoulder straps that looped around the standard airplane seatbelts to keep the kids secure and safe. It’s like a car seat that fits into your purse (not intended for use in autos!).
I was so happy that the kids responded well to them – since they are so used to being in car seats it was easy to make them feel comfortable. And when the flight took off and they wanted to sit up to play with their new toys (or watch Wreck-It Ralph on the iPad) the CARES harnesses easily unbuckled at the chest so I could slip their shoulders out. Once they were done with that I slipped them right back into the harness in a matter of seconds.
CARES is the first and only harness type Aviation Child Safety Device to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an alternative to a car seat.
CARES is an elegantly designed belt-and-buckle device that works in conjunction with the regular airplane seat belt and provides young travelers the same level of safety as a car seat.
CARES weighs just one pound and fits into a 6″ stuff sack! It is easily portable, simple to install, adjustable to every size airplane seat, and usable on any window or center seat in the airplane, except in the emergency exit rows.
Need your car seat on the other end of the trip? Just check it through as luggage – and carry CARES on board in your pocket!
Now, I am not going to say the flights were easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. It was STILL tough and there were some tears, some sleeping (thankfully), and some wriggling around, but that’s to be expected with toddlers for 6 hours. I’m just glad that the CARES Harnesses made it much easier and way safer than it would have been otherwise.
Here are some tips for flying with children:
- Pack light for the plane and check what you can. It’s hard enough handling a child or two and then adding luggage on top of that.
- Use a backpack if possible to keep your hands and shoulders free.
- Pack a small toy for every 1/2 hour. You can find a great selection at your local Dollar Tree
- Fully charge all tablets, laptops, and phones to keep your child entertained.
- Pack pajamas in your carry-on
- Keep lots of snacks handy – granola bars, dried fruit, squeeze pouches are all great to have
- Pack some travel-sized wipes
- Pack pipe cleaners! They are great for entertaining, and have plenty of uses – I fashioned some loops to hold the ipad up while they were watching a movie!
Don’t forget the CARES Harnesses – they are a lifesaver!
I was provided with the products reviewed free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own. CARES Harnesses are the only FAA-approved child restraint systems other than approved car seats. CARES Harnesses are only for use in flight travel and not for use in automobile or any other type of travel.