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Old 04-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
Soon2beMrs.
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CARES system for flights..good or bad?

So we are flying with our 2 1/2 yr old to FL from Baltimore in less than 2 weeks. I don't want to carry his car seat because it is 1) very heavy 2) we are going on the DCL and won't need it for anything else.
So question is: use the cares system or just the standard seat belt. I thought toddlers only had to stay in their seat during take off and landing so I'm not sure what's best.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
lost*in*cyberspace
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You should always be in your seat with the seat belt fastened, no matter what your age.

A regular seat belt is fine for a 2 1/2 year old. There are a number of CARES threads; try a search. Most people are happy with theirs.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
Soon2beMrs.
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I have a 2 yr old that has a serious problem with sitting still and the only way I would get him to stay in his seat is physically holding him still which will result in an extreme yelling fit..I'm gonna do my best but I can't do that to the other passages on the plane.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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The safest option is a CARES harness or a carseat strapped in to the airplanes seat.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:49 PM   #5
danceintherain
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It's up to you.
How certain things will be responded to greatly depends on the child.

I prefer having my 2 year old son in a car seat on the plane, but he's usually more comfortable without the seat (can lean on Mommy or Daddy) and sits fine.

Some kids absolutely will not stay in their seat with the standard seat belt, and even a CARES harness doesn't have a crotch strap, so it's easy enough to get out of.

The bottom line is that your child will need to be in his/her seat with the seat belt fastened during take off, landing, and any turbulence. If you think there may be a problem with this, then a car seat will, at the very least, keep the child contained and safe.
If for some reason you child leaves their seat during take off, they can remove you from the plane.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Soon2beMrs. View Post
I have a 2 yr old that has a serious problem with sitting still and the only way I would get him to stay in his seat is physically holding him still which will result in an extreme yelling fit..I'm gonna do my best but I can't do that to the other passages on the plane.
So what does he do in his car seat? He will HAVE to be fastened in during take off, landing and anytime the seat belt sign is on. You may be better off to take his car seat and at least he is contained. Think about any special treats of even bribes to get through the flight but know he will have to be in his seat and restrained for at least some of the flight. I have been on a flight where the seat belt sign was on for the majority of the time.

OP, I would use the CARES system and treat it as a car seat. He stays in the whole time. Take treats and snacks to keep him happy.

Sorry, I misread as two differnt people posting. I get why OP does not want to lug a car seat but you may want to try out the CARES and see if that will contain him or it might be your only option.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:04 PM   #7
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We had mixed results with Cares. One kid it worked well, one kid not so much. If you are concerned about a wiggly kid I would use a car seat. There is not crotch strap so wiggly kids can scoot down.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
kldnyc
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My DD was very similar to what you are describing- absolutely hated to be confined to a small area. Plane rides were always difficult because she would not sit for more than 20 or 30 minutes no matter what the bribe. I tried the carseat and the CARES harness- the CARES system was much better for us. The carseat seemed to be worse because she would fight it the whole time and try to get out which led to horrible screaming melt downs- you would not want to be near us on a flight. She really liked the CARES and for some reason did not try to get out of it Now she is almost 5 and a dream to travel with- something for you to look forward to
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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Make sure your car seat is rated for use on the plane first. We went through the hassle of carrying all the way to the gate and on the plane only to be stopped by the flight attendant and told we would have to check it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #10
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Make sure your car seat is rated for use on the plane first. We went through the hassle of carrying all the way to the gate and on the plane only to be stopped by the flight attendant and told we would have to check it.
most carseats bought in the US in the last few years are. I have several (I foster so never know the size or number of kids I will have in a given week) and everyone is faa approved although some don't have the sticker and only say it in the manual.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #11
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My dd didn't like her carseat on the plane because she fidnt get why she had to be strapped in. In the car she could see things moving out the window, in the plane, it was if she had to be strapped in to watch tv.

If your child is tiny, I'd suggest the cares as the plane seatbelt is really not adapted to smaller children. If your child is bigger they will probay be just fine without it.

Our rule is seatbelt always on. They get anything they could possibly want if they are good. I buy treats and games and surprises with my daughter before we go and she gets something on e every half hour she is good. I also buy over the head earphones (the free earbuds on then plane are no good for kids), and she can watch tv or a movie if she's good.

This is definite an appropriate time to bribe and spoil!!!!
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #12
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I used a Cares system for my Ds when he was 3 for a 4hr flight I worked fine and by reviewing the video a couple of times before hand, it was a breeze to install. The pouch for perfectly in my bag and I was able to check my stroller at the gate. I have no use for it for my next trip but if I had to I would use it again. Hope this helps
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:09 AM   #13
Soon2beMrs.
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Thanks for everyone's help! I ordered the cares system today for our flight next Saturday...
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soon2beMrs. View Post
I have a 2 yr old that has a serious problem with sitting still and the only way I would get him to stay in his seat is physically holding him still which will result in an extreme yelling fit..I'm gonna do my best but I can't do that to the other passages on the plane.


As another poster already said, (sorry I missed it when I originally posted), you don't have a choice! He must be in his seat with the seat belt fastened during take-off, landing and any other time the fasten seat belt light is on. And it is always a good idea to keep your seat belt on at all times; you never know when you are going to hit unexpected turbulence.

Last edited by lost*in*cyberspace; 04-27-2013 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Read the whole thread.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:19 PM   #15
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We have to fly at least every 3 months with our son (J), now 2.5, for medical reasons (he has rare eye condition), so I have an unusual amount of toddler flight experience. My son has been able to get the seatbelt off since his first flight as a non-lap child. We have CARES which keeps him from taking the seat belt off, but it sometimes slinks down on the seat and loosens. Also he sometimes still wants to sit in my lap during take off and landing which is aloud.

If your interested the routine that works for us is as follows:

we fly southwest and I always load with family boarding between A group and B, because we still get a great seat but have less time on a nonmoving plane.

Find window seat for J
Let j move around freely in seat as long as possible
When necessary give J choice between cares seatbelt or my lap

The time on the Tarmac before take off is the trickiest, I always have a sucker at the ready and pull it out just when J gets fussy

Once we are in he air and the seat belt sign is off I let him return to his seat if in my lap or if in seat, I loosen th belt to give him more movement. At this time I start his movie on the iPad and pull out the crayons etc.

Landing is the next tricky part, but we do the same, and I have spare sucker. He sometimes crys right at the descent darts (ears), but suckers, songs, and nursery rhymes help.

Probably more info tan you bargained for, but I thought I would share should I myself?
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