I am a very nervous flyer and hate having to fly(this is odd since we travel A LOT). I am so scared of all the millions of things that can go wrong on a flight(which I blame on Discovery’s Air Crash Investigations)!
We decided to fly to Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand in December. After having heard about a Continental Airlines flight that had bad turbulence in the air and how there were a few injuries I immediately started wondering about whether we could bring Deen’s car seat on board.
I wondered how we would manage carrying a car seat while caring for two kids under 3.
I then found the CARES Child Aviation Restraint System and was immediately sold on this product. You are basically giving your child a 5 point harness instead of them using those flimsy little lap belts on the airline seats. Kids are so tiny that honestly I don’t feel like those lap belts will hold them down in case of an emergency or bad turbulence.
The CARES system gave me one thing less to worry about on the flight. When we hit turbulence I could easily grab my husbands hand(I’m a big baby) instead of having to worry whether my son would be safe and secure.
The CARES belt is made of good sturdy material, it includes an FAA Approval on the seat belt and it folds up pretty small. It takes up very little space in your carry on luggage.
Deen was very excited to use his seat belt and we had no problems using this belt on any of the airlines we travelled on.
Here is a little more information on CARES:
- CARES stands for Child Aviation Restraint System. CARES is a harness-type safety device designed for children who weigh between 22-44 lbs and are sitting in their own airplane seats. (Generally 1-4/5 years old.)
- CARES takes the place of a car seat when traveling by air with your children and provides an equivalent level of safety (ELOS) to a car seat. (Stated in the FAA certification designation)
- CARES weighs 1 pound (car seats weigh 15-20 lbs).
- CARES comes in a 6 inch stuff sack that fits in a pocket or purse. (Car seats are over 2 feet high, 20 inches wide, heavy, bulky and hard to carry)
- CARES is designed specifically for air travel: it is portable, light weight and easy to use.
- CARES takes one minute to install on any airplane seat and augments the regular lap belt.
- Parents who need the car seat at the other end of trip can ship it through as luggage, and carry their CARES on board.
- CARES has been certified by Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Certification for many other countries is in process.
Final Thoughts: I think those that CAN travel with their car seats should stick with their car seat since it is also very safe and your child is already familiar and comfortable in it.
For those of you who cannot travel with their car seat for any reason (too big, not enough hands to carry,etc) but would like extra protection and more peace of mind the CARES system is perfect!