Two weeks ago, my husband and I flew for the first time with both kids. Our oldest had racked up over a dozen flights by her first birthday but hasn’t been on a plane since we moved to Ontario just before her first birthday, and I’d taken our youngest to Alberta a year ago, but the four of us had never flown as a family until our trip to Florida. This also marked the first time that we had a child who required her own seat on the plane! I really didn’t want to install our car seat on the plane for the 3.75 year old; with two girls, one stroller, two backpacks of (one adult-sized and full of electronics/spare clothing, one child-sized and full of books), one diaper bag/purse and one carry-on bag of activities and snacks, we had more than enough to wrangle! Still, I didn’t feel fully comfortable with Ashlyn just using the lap belt on the plane. I found my solution in the Kids Fly Safe CARES harness.
What is a CARES harness? From their website:
- 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!
I was very happy to recieve a CARES harness to review just in time for our trip. It took me seconds to set up the CARES harness. I put the red strap around the back of the airplane seat (under the tray, so that the person sitting behind Ashlyn could still use it) and brought it down to her shoulder height, then tightened it up. Slip the loops through the lap belt. Buckle the lap belt and the chest clip and you’re done!
Ashlyn was perfectly happy in her CARES harness for the flight, and one flight attendant commented to me that she wished that more parents knew about the CARES harness. We were lucky to only hit one very small bit of turbulence during our flight home – to which Ashlyn excitedly said “Mommy, it’s like the magic carpet ride at Disney! This is so much fun!” – but I felt much better knowing that she was securely buckled into her CARES harness. I also think that it helped her to understand that she needed to stay in her seat while we were flying as she didn’t ask to walk the aisles or to get out of her seat except to use the bathroom.
You can find Kids Fly Safe on Facebook and follow them on Twitter via @Kidsflysafe. The CARES airplane safety harness is a great product for anyone flying with young children over March break and Easter!
One lucky reader will win a CARES harness from Kids Fly Safe!
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