The CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) is designed specifically for aviation use for children age 1 and older who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds. Old enough to be in their own seats, these children are too small for the seat belt alone to protect them and provide the safety required during airplane travel. Their bodies cannot withstand the jolts that are common in routine air travel, much less emergency situations, and they flail forward or slide beneath the seat belt if they are not held securely in place.
invented by Louise Stoll, former assistant secretary of the US Department of Transportation, the CARES restraint has been on the market since 2006. Stoll, the grandmother of 9, says the idea for CARES was born in the late 90’s when her daughter Miriam visited her in Washington D.C. She stepped off the plane carrying her toddler, a 20 lb. car seat, and a diaper bag….and she was 7 months pregnant. Stoll says, “I was aghast at the scene and said to my husband “There has to be a better way!”
The answer had to be lightweight, easy-to-carry, and quick to install and remove from an airplane seat, as well as keep kids securely in place during turbulence and bumpy landings. The idea, patented in 2002, was then licensed to AmSafe, the Phoenix-based company that manufactures most airplane seatbelts and has years of experience working the FAA.
Four years of developmental testing and regulatory reviews followed. This included crash tests with instrumented dummies, months for the required public notice, time for public response to this new idea for a child restraint, and finally the drafting of new regulatory language that would permit this specific harness-type child restraint on planes. The FAA determined that CARES provided an equivalent level of safety (ELOS) to a car seat for kids traveling in planes.
In 2006 the FAA certified CARES—the first and only alternative to a car seat permitted on planes. The certification gives parents the right to use CARES on all US airlines for all phases of flight: taxiing, take off, turbulence, and landing. FAA regulators made it clear that airlines may not prevent parents from using CARES.
An elegantly designed belt-and-buckle device, CARES works in conjunction with the regular airplane seat belt and provides young travelers the same level of safety as a car seat.
Weighing just one pound the CARES airplane safety harness fits into a 6-in. sack and is easily portable, simple to install, adjustable to every size airplane seat, and usable on any window or center seat in the airplane, except in the emergency exit rows. CARES is made of the same industrial-strength webbing as adult seat belts and is engineered to the highest aviation-safety standards.
Kids Fly Safe has now sold over 200,000 CARES units. CARES has also been certified by Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK and flies on most of the major airlines of Europe and Asia. CARES is manufactured exclusively by AmSafe, the foremost manufacturer of aviation seatbelts and pilot restraints in the world.
For more information call 800/ 299-6249 or visit www.kidsflysafe.com.