caresharnessWith the Summer months quickly approaching, I’ve gotten a ton of emails from Rave and Review readers asking for travel tips for flying with kids.  Many have asked what I would recommend after your child graduates from being a lap child and into having their own grownup seat while traveling by plane.My recommendation, of course, would be the CARES Child Aviation Restraint Systemthat secures your child into the airline seat while flying without having to carry their bulky car seat onto the plane.

So, how does the CARES toddler harness work?  Instead of one single lap belt on a standard airline seat, the CARES harness creates a 4 point restraint harness, similar to the restraints used in car seats, that secures your child for the duration of the flight.  To use, you just attach the looped strap to the seat back and adjust so that the harness is a bit above shoulder height, then you thread the airplane seatbelt through both sides of the harness and buckle securely before snapping the breastbone clasp together. 

The CARES restraint feels really secure and sturdy, which it should since it’s made of the same industrial-strength webbing as a typical safety belt.  The CARES safety harness is engineered and manufactured by AmSafe Aviation, a leading manufacturer of airline seatbelts whose motto is “innovation in motion”.  Innovation, indeed.

Instead of a bulky and heavy car seat or booster chair, the CARES safety harness can be easily carried in a carryon or large purse, comes in its own lightweight carrying bag, and weighs just one pound.  One pound that will save you having to fight to get a huge car seat through security only to drag it along with you and your little one around the airport.  And then once on the plane, the lightweight and flexible CARES safety belt is much easier to maneuver in tight spaces and get connected to and removed from an airline seat in a hurry. 


The CARES is simple to use, easy to install and remove within seconds and is certified to be as safe as an automobile restraint system for air travel.  For those of you that will need your child’s car seat once you land, you can simply check the seat as luggage when you arrive and have the airline worry about getting it across the airport!