I recently was planning a vacation with my toddler, and was trying to coordinate how much baby equipment I would need to bring with me. I’d heard that experts recommend that children sit in approved car seats on an airplane, however, we weren’t going to be renting a car on our vacation. In searching the web, I came across CARES, which is a wonderful solution created by a grandma of 8!
CARES is an FAA approved harness type child safety device to be used on airplanes (and ONLY on airplanes). It is very easily installed, doesn’t affect the functionality of any of the seats (they can be reclined, tray tables do work, etc), and is extremely portable and lightweight (only 1 lb)! CARES has been approved for use in aircrafts, for all phases of flight. In my opinion, this product is a total necessity for traveling parents – even if you need your carseat, it is so much easier to check it and get it at the end of your flight. One additional benefit is that because your child is sitting flush with the seat, it is much harder for them to kick the seat in front of them (a huge problem for us the last time we flew).
I purchased a CARES and used it on a recent flight. The enclosed DVD was perfect to help us learn how to install CARES, and had the added benefit of giving my daughter a small peek into what a plane looks like, which helped prepare her for the experience. I was able to pack the CARES at the top of my carry-on bag, which was extremely convenient. Installing the CARES was very simple, and my daughter was buckled in almost instantaneously. The CARES attracted a lot of attention, especially from the flight attendants (who loved it!). I watched a dad with a carseat attached to his back struggle to get through the plane, and I really was glad that our experience was so much easier!
I will certainly use CARES for my toddler for any future flights, even if I do need our carseat! You can buy CARES at