CARES: The Smart Way to Fly with Kids
Everyone knows that the seat belt alone does not keep young children safe in airplanes any more than it does in cars. That’s why every state in the country requires youngsters to be in car seats when they drive. But if you have ever tried to lug a car seat through a large airport, wrangle it through security lines and narrow airplane aisles, and then install it in the window seat of a plane – the only seat it is permitted in - while some sympathetic stranger holds your child, you know that car seats and airplanes don’t mix!
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified only one child restraint designed specifically for airplane travel - the CARES flight belt. CARES is manufactured by AmSafe Aviation, the company that makes nearly all the airplane seatbelts in the world. It is a 1 pound belt and buckle device that is designed to work with the regular airplane seatbelt. CARES fits in a 6 inch carry sack and installs on virtually any size airplane seat in one minute – while the child sits in that seat.
CARES is certified for children 22-44 lbs (about 1 to 4 or 5 years old ) for all phases of flight – taxiing, take off, turbulence and landing - and keeps the child as safe as if you had hauled a car seat on board on board the plane. It holds your child securely and comfortable against the airplane seat back with a 5 point harness arrangement so she can’t flail forward or slide beneath the seatbelt in turbulence or rough landing. In addition, because she is comfortably held against the airplane seat back, her little legs cannot reach to kick the seat in front of her – a happy “extra” benefit to other travelers!
It is not surprising that parents with Special Needs Children also discovered the benefits of CARES early, because it meant they didn’t have to go through the arduous many months-long process required in order to bring a special brace on board for their children - CARES was already certified! Recently, the FAA has extended the use of CARES for travelers with disabilities to as far as the CARES straps extend – which is for a child just under 5 ft tall. In addition, the FAA has just approved the manufacture of a CARES for larger children and adults with disabilities who require upper body support when they fly. This is indeed a huge, convenient, breakthrough for the traveling public!
Over 100,000 CARES have been sold in the several years since it was certified by the FAA and came on the market. It has been well recognized and rewarded by parent and safety organizations including Good Housekeeping, Nappa Gold, Creative Child, Dr. Toy, iParenting Media, Mr. Dad, Family Review Center and the National Parenting Center. CARES received the coveted International Crystal Cabin Award given by the International Aviation Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, for its originality and contribution to passenger safety.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), America’ “watch dog” over mass transportation, recently convened a national conference in Washington DC devoted to the need for better safety for traveling children and displayed CARES prominently because it is the only sensible way to keep kids secure in planes. Parents know about CARES – and they want to buy it!
There is no doubt that when it comes to safety for kids on the move – it’s car seats for cars and CARES for planes!
Check it out: www.kidsflysafe.com for more about CARES, and where to buy it. CARES is available in over 200 stores in North America and retailers tell us that the product “sells itself” .