The CARES Child Airplane Safety Harness has been designed specifically for children aged 1 and older, who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds. However most airlines allow children to remain on the lap until two years old, but at this age children can sit in their own seats if you choose to pay. The issue is that all the seats on the planes have seat belts that are designed for adults and don’t hold their little bodies in place as well. The CARES aims to help keep your child more secure during the flight. 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, it is a belt-and-buckle design that works alongside the belt already available on the chair, providing a chest harness as well as the lap belt. Weighing just one pound it won’t add too much to your hand luggage, however it is a little bulky, even in the stuff sack it is about 6” which may not sound a lot but anyone travelling with children will know they already need an entire house worth of stuff leaving you with room for your passport and that’s about all. It can be used on any seat except the emergency exit row, however a word of warning, we have found a few reports of some companies and flight attendants restricting the use this so always check with the airline before booking. The CARES has a good quality of construction, but it is not without its issues, first you need to attach a strap around the back of the chair which means, interacting with the person behind the child, opening their tray table, fastening it and closing their tray table, it doesn’t really affect the person behind but for someone who feels self-conscious reclining their seat the thought of having to ask permission to invade their minimal personal space fills me with fear. The second issue is one that would put me off purchasing it entirely, as most economy seats are made from that pretend leather they can be quite slippery and as the CARES doesn’t have a leg harness the child can slip down in the seat resulting in the chest buckle becoming positioned around the neck. The CARES is a good idea, it best suited for older children to prevent them slipping in the harness, however the older they are the more likely it is they will be comfortable in just the lap harness rendering the CARES an expensive and unnecessary purchase. RRP $74.95

3 out of 5

Buy now


Solid construction

Works with lap belt


Adjustable shoulder straps and chest strap


No leg harness results in child slipping and chest clip becoming around their neck

Needs to be attached around the back of the chair

Bulky package