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CARES Kids Fly Safe - Airline Safety Harness

The CARES Fly Safe harness is designed specifically for aviation use for children age 1 and older who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds. These children are too small for the seat belt alone to protect them. Their bodies cannot withstand the jolts that are common in routine transportation, much less emergency situations, and they flail forward or slide beneath the seat belt if they are not held securely in place.

If you don't want to bring your carseat onboard, the CARES Fly Safe harness will ensure that your child flies with the same level of safety as if you *had* lugged that big beast onto the plane.

I recently flew with my 2.5 and 5.5 year old boys. We didn't bring carseats, as we had no need for them on the other end of our flight. My 2.5 year old is pretty wild, so I was hoping that by wearing the CARES he would not only be safe, but also unable to get up out of his seat and roam/climb freely. He's happy to sit still if strapped into his carseat, but the airplane seat is just another play structure/trampoline to him, and he hates wearing a regular seatbelt. So for him, I wanted not only to keep him safe, but to restrain him, and also keep him quiet in his seat so that he didn't bother the other passengers.

The CARES harness worked fantastically well. He was curious about his "special airplane seatbelt", and he enjoyed wearing it. Wearing it also mimicked the feeling of the 5-point harness in his carseat, so he didn't try to get up. For the most part he stayed put in his seat, comfortable and safe. And me? I did not have to lug a giant carseat along with me. I kept the CARES harnesses in my flight bag, where they hardly took up any room at all.

On the return flight he fell asleep, and that's when I discovered the one downside of the head or body support. Unlike a carseat, there are no side wings to hold his head in place once he zonks out. BUT I did have my inflatable Travel Rest pillow with me, and that worked well to comfortably support his head and body while he slept. Reclining the seat also helps.

My 5.5 year old is mellow enough, but the seat belts on planes don't fit him. The CARES harness fit him beautifully, he liked wearing it, and I liked knowing that he was safely restrained, in case of turbulence or worse. It was really easy to put on, and easy and fast to get off at the end of the flight in the mad rush out of the plane. Big thumbs up, as long as you have something to use for sleeping support. As I mentioned, the Travel Rest pillow was a great solution for us, and can be used in many other situations as well.

  • 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 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!
  • Older special needs, disabled & autistic kids can now use CARES!
CARES is manufactured exclusively by AmSafe Aviation, the foremost manufacturer of aviation seatbelts and pilot restraints in the world. (Turn over your airplane seat belt buckle. Chances are it says AmSafe.) CARES is made of the same industrial-strength webbing as your own seat belt and is engineered to the highest aviation-safety standards.

Who manufactures CARES?

CARES is manufactured by AmSafe Aviation, the foremost manufacturer of airplane seat belts and other aviation safety restraints. (Next time you?re in a plane, turn over the buckle on your own seat belt and chances are it was manufactured by AmSafe.) CARES uses the same industrial-strength materials and is designed to the same engineering standards as all AmSafe Aviation safety equipment.

What if I need my car seat on the other end of the plane trip?

Just check your car seat through as luggage, pick it up on the other end of the journey, and enjoy your airport time and air travel hassle free with the CARES aviation child safety harness.

Does CARES provide as much protection for my child as a car seat?

Yes. In rigorous dynamic tests conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), CARES, a totally new harness type child safety device, was certified as an ELOS ? Equivalent Level of Safety ?to a car seat, the only harness type safety device with this certification.

At what age can a child use CARES?

Children must be at least 1 year old, weigh 22 pounds, and be able to sit front-facing to use CARES.

What are the upper weight and height limits for children to use CARES?

The upper limit of the CARES certification is 44 lbs and 40 inches in height.

Can CARES be used during take off and landing?

Yes. CARES is certified by the FAA for all phases of flight: taxiing, take off, turbulence and, landing. The FAA urges that all passengers remain buckled in whenever they are in their seats. This applies to children in the CARES aviation harness as well.

When flying with children do you have to buy a ticket to use CARES?

A child must be in his/her own seat to use CARES. Airlines require all children age 2 and older to have their own tickets and to be in their own seats.

Do I need permission from my airline to use CARES?

No. CARES is certified by the FAA for use on all U.S. registered airlines. Because CARES is a new product and is a unique harness type child safety restraint, some airline personnel may not yet be familiar with it . Parents have the right to bring CARES on board for their children and airline personnel may not prevent you from using CARES for your child. This is a Federal Aviation Administration ? not an individual airline - decision and it applies to all U.S. airlines for both domestic and international flights.

If my child is large enough to use CARES but is not yet 2 years old do I still need to buy him a ticket in order to use CARES?

To ensure that you will have a seat for your child, you must buy a ticket. If the plane is not crowded and your child is under 2, you may be able to use an empty seat.

Can I use CARES in my car?

Absolutely NOT. CARES is NOT certified for use in automobiles and does not work with a three-point (shoulder) harness. NEVER TRY TO USE CARES IN YOUR CAR.

How will I know how to use CARES?

CARES is very easy to use. An instructional DVD and card is included in the carrying case for CARES. It takes about one minute to learn how to install and use CARES. See the photo tutorial on installing CARES at right. An installation label is sewn to the CARES itself.

Can CARES be used on a private or corporate aircraft?

Yes, providing that the seat is front facing. CARES requires a belt across the lap.

Does CARES affect the operation of the tray behind the child?s seat?

No. Ensuring that CARES did not adversely affect the functionality of the tray was an important FAA criteria for certifying CARES. The tray is lowered for only a minute while the red webbing loop is adjusted around the seat, and then is closed and locked in place, covering up the CARES loop. CARES does not affect the functioning or use of the tray.

In some older style seats found occasionally on small planes, the tray fits into a plastic cavity with recessed sides. In these the CARES red loop, when pulled taut, could prevent the tray from closing securely. In this case, the CARES loop should be installed around the seat and OVER the stowed tray for taxiing, turbulence, take off, and landing.

 CARES Fly Safe Airline Harness $74 SALE $72
Child seated on the airplane in his CARES Fly Safe harness - Click image to see larger version

Installing CARES

  1. Seat your child in the airplane seat he or she will occupy.

    Step 1 Photograph of a child in a seat on an airplane

  2. Lower the tray table behind your child?s seat.

    Step 2 Photograph of a mother lowering the tray table

  3. Slide the RED LOOP of the CARES restraint over the seat back, adjust the height of the RED LOOP so it is just above your child?s shoulders, and tighten it. Then close the tray table covering the Red Loop.

    Step 3 Photograph of a mother adjusting the height of CARES

    Step 3 Photograph of a mother tightening CARES around the seat

  4. Place the BLACK SHOULDER STRAPS over your child's shoulders and slide the buckle and connecter ends of the regular airplane seat belt through the loops at the bottom of the BLACK SHOULDER STRAPS.


    Step 4 Photograph of a mother feeding the airplane seat belt through the loops of CARES

  5. Buckle the seat belt and pull it snugly across your child?s lap as you normally would do ? and then buckle the chest clip and snug down the Shoulder Straps.

    Step 5 Photograph of a mother buckling the chest clip

Your child is now safely buckled for taxiing, take off, landing and whenever during flight the Captain turns on the 'fasten seat belt' sign.

AmSafe joins the FAA and the airlines in recommending that you keep your seat belt and your child?s CARES fastened at all times when in flight.

Safety Comparison Videos

Child in Seat Belt Only

Child in CARES Restraint

Comments or questions about CARES Fly Safe Air Harness?