Friday, March 20, 2009

Safe Air Travel with Young Children

Rather than take a car seat onboard our flight to Punta Cana, we took the CARES flight harness system for our two-year old. This FAA-approved flight harness is easy to use, light-weight (just one pound), takes up little room in your carry-on, and was worth every penny! It also arrived promptly following my online order.

I "practiced" with CARES with my daughter at home prior to our departure so that she would have an idea of what to expect on an airplane. Kids this age are accustomed to be securely buckled into many things (car seats, strollers, grocery store carts), and she has no idea that all the adults on the plane just use a lap belt, but I wanted her to be familiar with the buckle-in procedure for when we boarded.

To practice at home, I used one of my husband's belts as the "airplane seat belt" and I set our daughter up in a dining room chair. She only sat with it on briefly, but it gave her the idea of how it worked (she tried buckling herself, too), and it convinced me how easy it is to install this once you are on the plane. (To round out our dining room inflight simulation, I also set up her with earphones and a video on a computer.)

Once on the plane, we installed CARES and got her buckled in. She was thrilled to be on the plane with her now-familiar seat belt, and even told other boarding passengers who passed to "buckle up!" We used CARES in a total of four flights without a glitch.

CARES is designed to provide your small child with additional safety during a flight, since lap belts are insufficient restraints for small children. As an added plus for parents who are relieved once their kids are strapped in a car seat and can no longer "get out," the harness also just kept our child more securely in place than a simple lap belt; she could move somewhat but couldn't wriggle away.

I would highly recommend the CARES flight harness system to my friends and to all parents traveling with young children (22-44 lbs, up to 40 inches tall) who want their child to safe inflight and who do not want to lug a car seat onboard each flight and through the airport. We will be using it on our next flights!

Planning your family's stay at Club Med Punta Cana? More info here:

1 comment:

  1. Never heard of CARES flight harness system and since me, my wife and son is fond of travelling, I'll give this a try for my son's safety. Btw, my son is 6 years old and he really enjoys travelling. Thanks for sharing.

    Punta Cana vacation