Buckle Up, Airplane Style

Between achy ears, close quarters and favorite trinkets left behind, it takes a brave parent to dare to bring a tyke on a plane. And then there’s the car seat debacle. The first time I flew with my baby, I paid for an extra ticket so I could have her securely fastened in her car seat. Once I managed to maneuver myself, the baby, the car seat and the diaper bag onto the aircraft, I was horrified that the car seat barely fit. And after a flight attendant gamely helped me wedge it in (with a little sweating and cursing on both our parts), it certainly wasn’t at the ideal angle. Now there’s a better option. For kids over one year who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds, the car seat struggle is over. The CARES child aviation restraint system is an FAA-approved safety harness that fits on any airline seat. It weighs only one pound, and it’s all you’ll need to bring on board (well, aside from the diaper bag, toys, snacks, etc). CARES was invented by Louise Stoll, a grandmother who was horrified to see her pregnant daughter waddle off the airplane lugging both a heavy car seat and a toddler. Now this godsend gadget is a must-have for families that fly. It just slips around the back of the seat, and snaps over your child in seconds. No sweating, no cursing. Phew.

CARES

Child Flight Harness

Buckle Up, Airplane Style

Between achy ears, close quarters and favorite trinkets left behind, it takes a brave parent to dare to bring a tyke on a plane. And then there’s the car seat debacle. The first time I flew with my baby, I paid for an extra ticket so I could have her securely fastened in her car seat. Once I managed to maneuver myself, the baby, the car seat and the diaper bag onto the aircraft, I was horrified that the car seat barely fit. And after a flight attendant gamely helped me wedge it in (with a little sweating and cursing on both our parts), it certainly wasn’t at the ideal angle. Now there’s a better option. For kids over one year who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds, the car seat struggle is over. The CARES child aviation restraint system is an FAA-approved safety harness that fits on any airline seat. It weighs only one pound, and it’s all you’ll need to bring on board (well, aside from the diaper bag, toys, snacks, etc). CARES was invented by Louise Stoll, a grandmother who was horrified to see her pregnant daughter waddle off the airplane lugging both a heavy car seat and a toddler. Now this godsend gadget is a must-have for families that fly. It just slips around the back of the seat, and snaps over your child in seconds. No sweating, no cursing. Phew.

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Louise
    Louise

    If you’ve ever carried your kid’s car seat through a crowded airport, shoved it through security, and tried to fit it into the window seat of the airplane row while some sympathetic stranger carried your child - you’ll understand the magic of the CARES child aviation restraint! I witnessed the other end of the trip when my daughter, then 7 months pregnant, tottered off the plane carrying her toddler, the infamous 20 pound car seat, and a diaper bag – and no one helped her! The “better way” was inspired by this experience ! It’s a 1 pound buckle and belt device that fits in your pocket, works with the airplane’s regular seatbelt and turns your child’s seat into something that looks like the flight attendant’s seat. It’s CARES, the only child aviation restraint the FAA has ever certified – and over 45,000 parents out there have already discovered it!

  • Emily
    Emily
    11/4/2008 12:00 PM

    It only weighs a pound. Think about that. Compared to a typical car seat, that's 19 pounds you don't have to carry! Have any of you mommies used this, or seen it in use on a flight? Or do you have a nightmare flying-with-kids story to share? Do tell!

  • joanne
    joanne – Grommet Team
    11/4/2008 1:21 PM

    Isn't it funny that seemingly solvable problems remain forever unaddressed. Leave it to a Granny to have the common sense and ingenuity to lead the way.

  • Cynthia
    Cynthia
    11/4/2008 3:03 PM

    The inventing granny deserves a humanitarian award for creating this product. I would have loved to be able to bring this amazing child's safety restraint on board instead of lugging a bulky, heavy car seat through airports and sweating over installation of the car seat into the airplane seat!

    I took quite a few transatlantic flights with my kids when they were in the car seat age range. I always brought car seats onto planes, and it was never easy. I remember getting my arm trapped trying to strap a car seat into the airplane seat, while grinning and assuring the stewardess that I'd have the seat secured in a jiffy. On numerous occasions I've zigzagged through airports with the car seat balanced upside down on top of luggage, using one hand to steer and push the luggage cart, and the other hand to hold the car seat on top. And then there's the fading travel memory I've worked hard to forget that involves a very steep set of wet stairs, a rainy tarmac, no shuttle bus, two kids, a (wet) car seat, all on very little sleep.

    Rental car agencies have car seats available for reservation--and if my kids were not already 7 and 12, I would definitely pack one of these nifty safety restraints and reserve a car seat at my destination!

  • Katherine
    Katherine
    11/4/2008 4:11 PM

    It drives me NUTS that the airlines don't provide these! Why wouldn't they step up to the plate and make sure their youngest passengers are as safe as they can be? Mine is older now...but I know when we board a plane in a few weeks I will wish that I had these to hand out to the overburdened parents around me.

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/4/2008 4:18 PM

    I am way into this product...I love the way a grandmother cracked this nut. And what a good problem to solve.

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/4/2008 4:30 PM

    Oh man Cynthia...I can really picture that rainy tarmac. People who have navigated that kind of travel also deserve a medal. It is soooo hard and the car seat is really Public Enemy No. 1 in your story.

  • Barbara
    Barbara
    11/4/2008 5:32 PM

    Just got a great Tweet from a mom -- she suggests sharing the cost of this with a friend if you don't travel very often. Says she has been using this for two years and loves the product! Did you know you can follow us on Twitter @DailyGrommet?

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/4/2008 5:42 PM

    Now that is one clever cost-saving solution. Unless you vacation together, this solution would work most if not all the time! Very smart.

  • Myrinda
    Myrinda
    11/5/2008 11:58 AM

    oh, that idea of sharing this is GREAT! or why don't they RENT them at the airport? we thought we were going to put our 4yo in the car seat on our last plane trip and they said no dice :( If i have to pay full price for a kids seat, I want my kids FULLY protected!

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    11/5/2008 2:08 PM

    This restraint is an especially smart buy if you are buying it for your toddler and have a baby or one on the way, because you can use it year after year for multiple kids! A nice little side benefit of the product: kids sit on the airplane seat and so their little feet can't reach the seat in front of them (to kick and irrirate the passenger in front of you). Thanks for the very informative post!

  • Alene
    Alene
    11/5/2008 7:02 PM

    I agree this is a good idea for on the plane, but the reality of travel with kids is that they also need car seats in the car on the way to the airport and on the way from the airport once you land.

    You might have your own car seat on the ride to the airport, but unless you rent a car seat at your destination (gross!), you need the seat anyway. Sure, you can check it and take your chances that it survices baggage handlling, or you can just have your child sit in it on the plane. My husband has gotten very good at carrying the seat with one hand by tightening the 5-point harness.

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/6/2008 2:54 PM

    Hi - I'm the inventor of CARES - sorry I was busy with the election so am just getting to these comments.

    Cynthia,I recently had a seat in the row behind a mom who got her arm trapped while trying to install a car seat.While another passenger held her little girl who had begun to wail, and the flight attendant looked on from the aisle, because she couldn't reach the mom who was struggling in the window seat (where all car seats are supposed to be installed). I and my seat mate helped extricate the poor mom's arm. The car seat didn't "uninstall" readily either.

    The thing is, for kids in their own seats (at age 2 you have to buy a seat for the child) the lap belt alone doesn't provide an equivalent level of protection as it does for the adult - who has the capacity to brace in turbulence etc.If you ever saw the "crash test videos" of kids in airplane lap belts alone, you would know the kids must have upper body support.

    I'd love to see a parent movement demanding the airlines provide "an equivalent level of safety" for their full fare paying kids as they provide for the parents. Kids Fly Safe has sold over 30,000 CARES to parents in the 2 years since the FAA certified the restraint. So 30,000 kids, plus a few more if parents lend out their CARES , have flown far more safely. That's enough CARES to put 5 on each and every airplane in the United States commercial aviation fleet! But over 800,000 kids in the CARES age bracket fly every year in the US. So if the airlines had bought 30,000 CARES, EVERY child traveling by air in the US would have had a safe seat! Essentially, for the price of 1 (cheap) adult ticket on a cross country flight, that airplane could protect ALL the kids likely to fly on it - for years!

    I'm thinking we need to start that movement to make that happen!

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/8/2008 4:49 PM

    I wanted to let everyone know that CARES has now been “discovered” by the disability community – so if a family has a child who needs extra upper torso support, rather than have to make arrangements months in advance with airlines to bring a brace on board (which is the current situation), if their caretaker/physician says CARES provides sufficient support, they can just carry it on board and use it because it is already certified! If anyone has questions for me, I'll keep an eye on any comments you make here and be sure to reply!

  • wende
    wende
    11/8/2008 7:58 PM

    i actually rented these from a lady on ebay last year when we flew to disney world with my then, 2 yr old twins! we didn't want to lug two carseats on the plane and these worked WONDERFUL!!! i would HIGHLY recommend them for any family that flies!

  • Jules
    Jules
    12/6/2008 11:31 AM

    Louise--that is wonderful news.

  • Jeanne
    Jeanne
    7/24/2009 7:51 AM

    We wanted to let everyone know more great news about how CARES is helps makes travel safer for children with special needs. Just a few months ago,

    the FAA granted permission for children with special needs to use CARES even if they're outside of the weight limit (22-44 pounds, under 20") to . There's an application process, but apparently it's pretty quick and easy.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/3/2009 9:59 AM

    We are pleased to have Louise and her CARES child harness aviation restraint system come back again just in time for the holiday and winter traveling season. The comments to this point are from her previous feature. Louise is with us again today and is available to answer any questions that you have!

  • Simon
    Simon
    11/3/2009 11:12 AM

    Regular airline belts are still not suitable for kids under 10. This product is excellent for Kids 1-5, but what do they use when they turn 6 and up...?

  • Donna Grimmer
    Donna Grimmer
    11/3/2009 11:39 AM

    We purchased this belt when they first came out and were some of the pioneers who had to educate the flight attendants who were a little unsure. We love this belt! It is easy, small (which is great now with the extra charges), affordable, and completely stress-free. Way to go grandma!

  • Donna
    Donna
    11/3/2009 11:43 AM

    I am with you on that movement to get airlines onboard with these belts! Organize and we shall follow....

  • Laurie
    Laurie
    11/3/2009 12:24 PM

    My daughter and I LOVE our CARES harness! We've used it three times now, and it has been a godsend. Besides being safe and simple, it also makes travel less stressful for my daughter; she loves being able to sit right down next to me so we can color, read books, etc. just like on the couch at home (and huddle together during lift-off and landing!). It also has the added advantage of keeping her feet farther back than in the car seat, so she doesn't have to worry about kicking the passenger in front of her.) I'm so thankful for this product!

  • Louise Stoll
    Louise Stoll
    11/3/2009 12:39 PM

    Simon; Good point! The FAA used the usual standard for car seats - 44 lbs - when they evaluated CARES. In automobiles kids move to a booster seat when they outgrow a car seat, but booster seats require shoulder belts, which airplanes don't have. The FAA is currently considering extending the age/size for which CARES can be used.

  • Louise Stoll
    Louise Stoll
    11/3/2009 12:47 PM

    Hi Laurie;

    You hit on the "secret weapon" of CARES that even I didn't think of until people started writing to tell me....in a CARES, because the child sits flush against the airplane seat back, his/her feet can't reach to kick the seat in front!

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    11/3/2009 1:20 PM

    Louise Stoll is truly a hero to traveling families who fly with little ones!

  • B. McGregor
    B. McGregor
    11/3/2009 1:44 PM

    The CARES offers parents a one-of-a-kind solution for keeping their little ones safe, secure and comfortable when flying.

  • Earl Marchesi
    Earl Marchesi
    11/3/2009 2:14 PM

    Thank you Louise! CARES is truly a simply yet wonderful product, and it has been well-received with our customers in the Los Angeles area. We have sold nearly 200 CARES!

  • Sarah
    Sarah
    11/3/2009 2:18 PM

    Hi,

    I love the idea of this product because it means not having to lug a carseat through the airport. However, in the case of my daughter, I've had absolutely no luck with it. Without the height of a carseat, it's hard for little kids to see much going on around them on the plane. I've also found that she is much more comfortable in her carseat than in just the airplane seat. She's three now and I've tried it three separate times. I think we will use and value this produce more when she's a little older.

  • Carolyn
    Carolyn
    11/3/2009 2:41 PM

    This is one of the best things ever created. Anyone who flies with kids needs to get one. It is very easy to install and is so much easier than bringing on a huge car seat. So check the car seat at the counter and use CARES next time you fly!

  • GSDMom
    GSDMom
    11/3/2009 2:54 PM

    Travelling more than 6000 miles a year with a toddler in tow, you learn quick what works and what doesn’t. After a year and a half of struggling with a car seat on the airplane, someone suggested CARES. It was perfect! And now that I have two little ones, I am even more in love with CARES! No way could I handle a baby and a toddler and a carseat or two and all their stuff on the plane!

    THANK YOU CARES!

  • Monica
    Monica
    11/3/2009 2:55 PM

    As a flight attendant for a major airline and a mom of toddler twins, I want to say this thing is awesome! Before we got these, I flew twice with the twins. Once, by myself with both of them and their SnugRide seats. Security, check in, boarding, deplaning, baggage claim. That was a nightmare! And if it was a nightmare for me, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for someone who doesn’t travel often.

    The other time was with my husband and by then the kids were in their Britax seats. UGH! It was horrible. And we packed light in order to keep hands free for the seats. Someone mentioned that their child seems to be more comfortable during the flight in their own seat. That may be true, but the actual flight (usually) is a much smaller part of the whole travel “experience”. Maybe for an international flight I would consider taking the seats. But I would think long and hard about it.

    I’m really surprised I don’t see this being used on flights more often. It must be because people simply don’t know about it, because if they did, they would switch in a heartbeat.

    One last thing. If you’re looking for alternatives, know that the Baby B Air vest (spelling?)can ONLY be used while the seatbelt sign is off. It cannot be used for taxi, takeoff, landing, or turbulence. And booster seats are not FAA approved for use on airplanes. I always feel bad when I notice someones booster seat AFTER they’ve fastened it all in and got settled. I hate making them undo it and stow the seat. But I have to.

    Wow, I kind of sound like a commercial. But, I really like this and I hope to see it onboard more. It really is safer for the little ones than just the seatbelt. (age 2 and up can sit in a regular seat with no carseat) In 12 years, I’ve seen some bad turbulence (hit the ceiling myself), aborted takeoffs (you WILL feel the seatbelt pressure on those), and aborted landings. Sorry FAA, but I don’t think a 2 year old restrained solely by the lap belt is as safe as an adult in those situations. They really do need additional restraint.

  • Kate
    Kate
    11/3/2009 3:02 PM

    Is the person sitting behind the child affected at all? Do you have to put their tray down when attaching. Their tray must still close otherwise it wouldn't have been approved but I'm having a hard time imagining what it looks like from the seat behind the child.

  • Kelly
    Kelly
    11/3/2009 3:07 PM

    I've used this for my now-5 year old for 2 years now and it is wonderful! I'll be moving my 2-year-old into it very soon, I hate carrying the carseat on the plane. Louise is a genius.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/3/2009 3:12 PM

    Wow Louise! It looks like some of those 45,000 parents were able to make it here today to let you know how much they appreciate the product that you invented. I can't imagine how proud you must feel reading all of these comments. Good job!

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/3/2009 3:40 PM

    Hi Kate; You're right - the FAA would not have allowed CARES to be certified if it had impacted the use of the tray. So they tested every which way to see if the use of the tray was affected - for instance, did having the red loop behind it cause the tray to pop open in turbulence or a bumpy landing ? Answer: no, it didn't. Did it prevent the person from using his tray? Answer: In no way.The person behind the child sees the smooth red belting of the CARES loop when he lowers his tray during flight, but the functionality of the tray is not affected. During turbulence, as you know, everyone has to stow their trays - once again, the red loop of the CARES in no way impacts the person who needs to stow his tray quickly.We have not received a single complaint from a person who sat behind the child in a CARES about the red loop.

  • Jana
    Jana
    11/3/2009 3:43 PM

    So neat to see Louise on the video showing us how to use this. Go Grandma!!!

  • Michelle
    Michelle
    11/3/2009 5:59 PM

    To several of the comments. I have used my CARES more than I can count at the moment (due to the military and distant family. But Oh how I love it!

    I have to agree that my child does not look to comfortable sometimes (especially sleeping), I have learned to place some "shoulder strap covers" over the straps for his comfort as with a rolled up blanket behind his head. This helps alot!

    Also, as to how the device affects the passenger behind my child: I have found that usually the passenger is intrigued by the device and offers me assistance in securing it. From that passenger's point-of-view the straps are only seen when they lower their tray, and is in no way an inconvience to them.

    I love my CARES. The only issues I have ever had was in the early uses, when flight attendants were not yet educated. But as instructed by the CARES manual I familiarized myself with the FAA approval tag, and I was good-to-go. Now almost 3 years after I orignally purchased my CARES, I am finding that I am no longer the only passenger on the plane using CARES.

    I highly recommend this product. Thank you Louise Stoll for making my life a bit easier.

    Michelle

  • DJ
    DJ
    11/3/2009 7:42 PM

    I’ll add my endorsement for the CARES system. I’ve used it several times with my young boys. I’d never go back to hauling a car seat through the airport. This takes up hardly any room, and if gives me peace-of-mind that my child is as secure as can be. Once you set it up once, future times will be quite easy. Highly recommended.

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/3/2009 7:46 PM

    You guys have made my day! Louise

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    11/3/2009 11:35 PM

    I have used CARES with my daughter so many times that she won’t fly without it! It keeps her in her seat and sitting upright just as she does in her car seat. I highly recommend the CARES system.

  • tdread
    tdread
    11/4/2009 11:38 AM

    This is one of the best investment i have bought for my child. My daughter feels like a “big girl” when traveling in the plane like everyone else. We got lots of “oh’s and ah’s” from the flight attendants and passengers. It’s easy to secure and best of all it’s FAA approved!

  • Anya Clowers, RN
    Anya Clowers, RN
    1/26/2010 11:56 AM

    I have traveled with my son all over the world with the CARES harness. It has truly changed the way we travel!

    I will never forget the moment I first heard about the CARES harness. I had sweat dripping down my back as I tried to get my car seat to fit into the airplane seat while everyone else was boarding and my toddler wandered off.

    An empathetic flight attendant told me about a 1 lb. harness she saw that morning on tv. We have never looked back. I have met the inventor, Louise Stoll, numerous times since and always thank her for making it so easy to keep my child safe!

    I loved the CARES harness so much I put a photo of my son in the harness on the cover of my book! Thank you again Louise.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/26/2010 1:19 PM

    @Anya - thank you for stopping by. That is a great endorsement for this wonderful product and for Louise, too!

    Anyone interested in Anya's book can check it out here: "Jet With Kids"

  • Kathey
    Kathey
    1/31/2010 11:02 AM

    I would like to know why this costs sooo much? 75 dollars for a few straps? That is just way to much. Good idea tho!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/31/2010 2:22 PM

    Hi Kathey!

    Thank you for your comment.

    CARES is manufactured exclusively by AmSafe Aviation, the foremost manufacturer of aviation seatbelts and pilot restraints in the world. We, for one, are glad that Louise didn't set her standards lower. We are so accustomed to the influx of cheap products that are produced with underpaid labor, inferior components and lack of originality that it can be hard to appreciate the real pricetag of true innovation using quality products.

    Consumers demanding/expecting lower priced goods can cause businesses to look for cheaper ways to produce an item not always in the best interest of the end result. Jules, Daily Grommet's founder, put out this essay on the dangers of today's discount culture. Five examples why discount culture is killing our economy. It's a very interesting blog post.

    We have heard stories of friends going in together to buy this item. That's a great idea since people usually would need this item at different times.

    Thank you for stopping by!

  • Frequent Flier w two children
    Frequent Flier w two children
    3/29/2011 1:23 PM

    We (family of four) love this product. We bought it when our second daughter was born because we just couldn't see lugging two carseats through the airport. Our oldest loved it, her special seat belt. We boarded one SW flight and the flight attendant said, "Wow, great we were trained on these, but I have never seen one used. May I install it for you? The airlines should rent or sell these onboard." Now our younger daughter is ready for her own seat, we are skipping the carseat and going straight to CARES.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    3/29/2011 1:37 PM

    @Frequent Flier w two children: It's great that you discovered these in time to get year's of use out of them. Thanks for stopping by to share your story.

  • Wondering ...
    Wondering ...
    5/18/2011 11:31 AM

    Hi - I'm wondering what the passenger behind you will think, especially if they want to use their tray table??

    Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/18/2011 11:58 AM

    @Wondering ...: Michelle, above, who is a CARES user offered this insight:

    "Also, as to how the device affects the passenger behind my child: I have found that usually the passenger is intrigued by the device and offers me assistance in securing it. From that passenger's point-of-view the straps are only seen when they lower their tray, and is in no way an inconvience to them. "

  • Brenda Fisher
    Brenda Fisher
    1/3/2012 3:24 PM

    I'm wondering why this couldn't be used in an automobile? This would be an excellent help to not have that big bulky carseat expecially when you are trying to fit 5 children in a 7 passenger vehicle. Many times the big bulky carseats do not allow the usage of all available seatbelts in the vehicle.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/3/2012 4:19 PM

    @Brenda Fisher: It would be great to provide a solution for parents of multiple young children so that they could all fit safely and securely and make use of all seats available. Right now, most state laws are very specific about what types of devices have been shown to provide the safest environment for children in an accident. With more development and testing, I bet a less bulky solution could be on the horizon.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

CARES

Child Flight Harness

Buckle Up, Airplane Style

Between achy ears, close quarters and favorite trinkets left behind, it takes a brave parent to dare to bring a tyke on a plane. And then there’s the car seat debacle. The first time I flew with my baby, I paid for an extra ticket so I could have her securely fastened in her car seat. Once I managed to maneuver myself, the baby, the car seat and the diaper bag onto the aircraft, I was horrified that the car seat barely fit. And after a flight attendant gamely helped me wedge it in (with a little sweating and cursing on both our parts), it certainly wasn’t at the ideal angle.

Now there’s a better option. For kids over one year who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds, the car seat struggle is over. The CARES child aviation restraint system is an FAA-approved safety harness that fits on any airline seat. It weighs only one pound, and it’s all you’ll need to bring on board (well, aside from the diaper bag, toys, snacks, etc).

CARES was invented by Louise Stoll, a grandmother who was horrified to see her pregnant daughter waddle off the airplane lugging both a heavy car seat and a toddler. Now this godsend gadget is a must-have for families that fly. It just slips around the back of the seat, and snaps over your child in seconds. No sweating, no cursing. Phew.
Read More Read Less
CARES - In-flight air safety restraint
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Louise
    Louise

    If you’ve ever carried your kid’s car seat through a crowded airport, shoved it through security, and tried to fit it into the window seat of the airplane row while some sympathetic stranger carried your child - you’ll understand the magic of the CARES child aviation restraint! I witnessed the other end of the trip when my daughter, then 7 months pregnant, tottered off the plane carrying her toddler, the infamous 20 pound car seat, and a diaper bag – and no one helped her! The “better way” was inspired by this experience ! It’s a 1 pound buckle and belt device that fits in your pocket, works with the airplane’s regular seatbelt and turns your child’s seat into something that looks like the flight attendant’s seat. It’s CARES, the only child aviation restraint the FAA has ever certified – and over 45,000 parents out there have already discovered it!

  • Emily
    Emily
    11/4/2008 12:00 PM

    It only weighs a pound. Think about that. Compared to a typical car seat, that's 19 pounds you don't have to carry! Have any of you mommies used this, or seen it in use on a flight? Or do you have a nightmare flying-with-kids story to share? Do tell!

  • joanne
    joanne – Grommet Team
    11/4/2008 1:21 PM

    Isn't it funny that seemingly solvable problems remain forever unaddressed. Leave it to a Granny to have the common sense and ingenuity to lead the way.

  • Cynthia
    Cynthia
    11/4/2008 3:03 PM

    The inventing granny deserves a humanitarian award for creating this product. I would have loved to be able to bring this amazing child's safety restraint on board instead of lugging a bulky, heavy car seat through airports and sweating over installation of the car seat into the airplane seat!

    I took quite a few transatlantic flights with my kids when they were in the car seat age range. I always brought car seats onto planes, and it was never easy. I remember getting my arm trapped trying to strap a car seat into the airplane seat, while grinning and assuring the stewardess that I'd have the seat secured in a jiffy. On numerous occasions I've zigzagged through airports with the car seat balanced upside down on top of luggage, using one hand to steer and push the luggage cart, and the other hand to hold the car seat on top. And then there's the fading travel memory I've worked hard to forget that involves a very steep set of wet stairs, a rainy tarmac, no shuttle bus, two kids, a (wet) car seat, all on very little sleep.

    Rental car agencies have car seats available for reservation--and if my kids were not already 7 and 12, I would definitely pack one of these nifty safety restraints and reserve a car seat at my destination!

  • Katherine
    Katherine
    11/4/2008 4:11 PM

    It drives me NUTS that the airlines don't provide these! Why wouldn't they step up to the plate and make sure their youngest passengers are as safe as they can be? Mine is older now...but I know when we board a plane in a few weeks I will wish that I had these to hand out to the overburdened parents around me.

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/4/2008 4:18 PM

    I am way into this product...I love the way a grandmother cracked this nut. And what a good problem to solve.

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/4/2008 4:30 PM

    Oh man Cynthia...I can really picture that rainy tarmac. People who have navigated that kind of travel also deserve a medal. It is soooo hard and the car seat is really Public Enemy No. 1 in your story.

  • Barbara
    Barbara
    11/4/2008 5:32 PM

    Just got a great Tweet from a mom -- she suggests sharing the cost of this with a friend if you don't travel very often. Says she has been using this for two years and loves the product! Did you know you can follow us on Twitter @DailyGrommet?

  • Jules
    Jules
    11/4/2008 5:42 PM

    Now that is one clever cost-saving solution. Unless you vacation together, this solution would work most if not all the time! Very smart.

  • Myrinda
    Myrinda
    11/5/2008 11:58 AM

    oh, that idea of sharing this is GREAT! or why don't they RENT them at the airport? we thought we were going to put our 4yo in the car seat on our last plane trip and they said no dice :( If i have to pay full price for a kids seat, I want my kids FULLY protected!

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    11/5/2008 2:08 PM

    This restraint is an especially smart buy if you are buying it for your toddler and have a baby or one on the way, because you can use it year after year for multiple kids! A nice little side benefit of the product: kids sit on the airplane seat and so their little feet can't reach the seat in front of them (to kick and irrirate the passenger in front of you). Thanks for the very informative post!

  • Alene
    Alene
    11/5/2008 7:02 PM

    I agree this is a good idea for on the plane, but the reality of travel with kids is that they also need car seats in the car on the way to the airport and on the way from the airport once you land.

    You might have your own car seat on the ride to the airport, but unless you rent a car seat at your destination (gross!), you need the seat anyway. Sure, you can check it and take your chances that it survices baggage handlling, or you can just have your child sit in it on the plane. My husband has gotten very good at carrying the seat with one hand by tightening the 5-point harness.

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/6/2008 2:54 PM

    Hi - I'm the inventor of CARES - sorry I was busy with the election so am just getting to these comments.

    Cynthia,I recently had a seat in the row behind a mom who got her arm trapped while trying to install a car seat.While another passenger held her little girl who had begun to wail, and the flight attendant looked on from the aisle, because she couldn't reach the mom who was struggling in the window seat (where all car seats are supposed to be installed). I and my seat mate helped extricate the poor mom's arm. The car seat didn't "uninstall" readily either.

    The thing is, for kids in their own seats (at age 2 you have to buy a seat for the child) the lap belt alone doesn't provide an equivalent level of protection as it does for the adult - who has the capacity to brace in turbulence etc.If you ever saw the "crash test videos" of kids in airplane lap belts alone, you would know the kids must have upper body support.

    I'd love to see a parent movement demanding the airlines provide "an equivalent level of safety" for their full fare paying kids as they provide for the parents. Kids Fly Safe has sold over 30,000 CARES to parents in the 2 years since the FAA certified the restraint. So 30,000 kids, plus a few more if parents lend out their CARES , have flown far more safely. That's enough CARES to put 5 on each and every airplane in the United States commercial aviation fleet! But over 800,000 kids in the CARES age bracket fly every year in the US. So if the airlines had bought 30,000 CARES, EVERY child traveling by air in the US would have had a safe seat! Essentially, for the price of 1 (cheap) adult ticket on a cross country flight, that airplane could protect ALL the kids likely to fly on it - for years!

    I'm thinking we need to start that movement to make that happen!

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/8/2008 4:49 PM

    I wanted to let everyone know that CARES has now been “discovered” by the disability community – so if a family has a child who needs extra upper torso support, rather than have to make arrangements months in advance with airlines to bring a brace on board (which is the current situation), if their caretaker/physician says CARES provides sufficient support, they can just carry it on board and use it because it is already certified! If anyone has questions for me, I'll keep an eye on any comments you make here and be sure to reply!

  • wende
    wende
    11/8/2008 7:58 PM

    i actually rented these from a lady on ebay last year when we flew to disney world with my then, 2 yr old twins! we didn't want to lug two carseats on the plane and these worked WONDERFUL!!! i would HIGHLY recommend them for any family that flies!

  • Jules
    Jules
    12/6/2008 11:31 AM

    Louise--that is wonderful news.

  • Jeanne
    Jeanne
    7/24/2009 7:51 AM

    We wanted to let everyone know more great news about how CARES is helps makes travel safer for children with special needs. Just a few months ago,

    the FAA granted permission for children with special needs to use CARES even if they're outside of the weight limit (22-44 pounds, under 20") to . There's an application process, but apparently it's pretty quick and easy.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/3/2009 9:59 AM

    We are pleased to have Louise and her CARES child harness aviation restraint system come back again just in time for the holiday and winter traveling season. The comments to this point are from her previous feature. Louise is with us again today and is available to answer any questions that you have!

  • Simon
    Simon
    11/3/2009 11:12 AM

    Regular airline belts are still not suitable for kids under 10. This product is excellent for Kids 1-5, but what do they use when they turn 6 and up...?

  • Donna Grimmer
    Donna Grimmer
    11/3/2009 11:39 AM

    We purchased this belt when they first came out and were some of the pioneers who had to educate the flight attendants who were a little unsure. We love this belt! It is easy, small (which is great now with the extra charges), affordable, and completely stress-free. Way to go grandma!

  • Donna
    Donna
    11/3/2009 11:43 AM

    I am with you on that movement to get airlines onboard with these belts! Organize and we shall follow....

  • Laurie
    Laurie
    11/3/2009 12:24 PM

    My daughter and I LOVE our CARES harness! We've used it three times now, and it has been a godsend. Besides being safe and simple, it also makes travel less stressful for my daughter; she loves being able to sit right down next to me so we can color, read books, etc. just like on the couch at home (and huddle together during lift-off and landing!). It also has the added advantage of keeping her feet farther back than in the car seat, so she doesn't have to worry about kicking the passenger in front of her.) I'm so thankful for this product!

  • Louise Stoll
    Louise Stoll
    11/3/2009 12:39 PM

    Simon; Good point! The FAA used the usual standard for car seats - 44 lbs - when they evaluated CARES. In automobiles kids move to a booster seat when they outgrow a car seat, but booster seats require shoulder belts, which airplanes don't have. The FAA is currently considering extending the age/size for which CARES can be used.

  • Louise Stoll
    Louise Stoll
    11/3/2009 12:47 PM

    Hi Laurie;

    You hit on the "secret weapon" of CARES that even I didn't think of until people started writing to tell me....in a CARES, because the child sits flush against the airplane seat back, his/her feet can't reach to kick the seat in front!

  • Lisa
    Lisa
    11/3/2009 1:20 PM

    Louise Stoll is truly a hero to traveling families who fly with little ones!

  • B. McGregor
    B. McGregor
    11/3/2009 1:44 PM

    The CARES offers parents a one-of-a-kind solution for keeping their little ones safe, secure and comfortable when flying.

  • Earl Marchesi
    Earl Marchesi
    11/3/2009 2:14 PM

    Thank you Louise! CARES is truly a simply yet wonderful product, and it has been well-received with our customers in the Los Angeles area. We have sold nearly 200 CARES!

  • Sarah
    Sarah
    11/3/2009 2:18 PM

    Hi,

    I love the idea of this product because it means not having to lug a carseat through the airport. However, in the case of my daughter, I've had absolutely no luck with it. Without the height of a carseat, it's hard for little kids to see much going on around them on the plane. I've also found that she is much more comfortable in her carseat than in just the airplane seat. She's three now and I've tried it three separate times. I think we will use and value this produce more when she's a little older.

  • Carolyn
    Carolyn
    11/3/2009 2:41 PM

    This is one of the best things ever created. Anyone who flies with kids needs to get one. It is very easy to install and is so much easier than bringing on a huge car seat. So check the car seat at the counter and use CARES next time you fly!

  • GSDMom
    GSDMom
    11/3/2009 2:54 PM

    Travelling more than 6000 miles a year with a toddler in tow, you learn quick what works and what doesn’t. After a year and a half of struggling with a car seat on the airplane, someone suggested CARES. It was perfect! And now that I have two little ones, I am even more in love with CARES! No way could I handle a baby and a toddler and a carseat or two and all their stuff on the plane!

    THANK YOU CARES!

  • Monica
    Monica
    11/3/2009 2:55 PM

    As a flight attendant for a major airline and a mom of toddler twins, I want to say this thing is awesome! Before we got these, I flew twice with the twins. Once, by myself with both of them and their SnugRide seats. Security, check in, boarding, deplaning, baggage claim. That was a nightmare! And if it was a nightmare for me, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for someone who doesn’t travel often.

    The other time was with my husband and by then the kids were in their Britax seats. UGH! It was horrible. And we packed light in order to keep hands free for the seats. Someone mentioned that their child seems to be more comfortable during the flight in their own seat. That may be true, but the actual flight (usually) is a much smaller part of the whole travel “experience”. Maybe for an international flight I would consider taking the seats. But I would think long and hard about it.

    I’m really surprised I don’t see this being used on flights more often. It must be because people simply don’t know about it, because if they did, they would switch in a heartbeat.

    One last thing. If you’re looking for alternatives, know that the Baby B Air vest (spelling?)can ONLY be used while the seatbelt sign is off. It cannot be used for taxi, takeoff, landing, or turbulence. And booster seats are not FAA approved for use on airplanes. I always feel bad when I notice someones booster seat AFTER they’ve fastened it all in and got settled. I hate making them undo it and stow the seat. But I have to.

    Wow, I kind of sound like a commercial. But, I really like this and I hope to see it onboard more. It really is safer for the little ones than just the seatbelt. (age 2 and up can sit in a regular seat with no carseat) In 12 years, I’ve seen some bad turbulence (hit the ceiling myself), aborted takeoffs (you WILL feel the seatbelt pressure on those), and aborted landings. Sorry FAA, but I don’t think a 2 year old restrained solely by the lap belt is as safe as an adult in those situations. They really do need additional restraint.

  • Kate
    Kate
    11/3/2009 3:02 PM

    Is the person sitting behind the child affected at all? Do you have to put their tray down when attaching. Their tray must still close otherwise it wouldn't have been approved but I'm having a hard time imagining what it looks like from the seat behind the child.

  • Kelly
    Kelly
    11/3/2009 3:07 PM

    I've used this for my now-5 year old for 2 years now and it is wonderful! I'll be moving my 2-year-old into it very soon, I hate carrying the carseat on the plane. Louise is a genius.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/3/2009 3:12 PM

    Wow Louise! It looks like some of those 45,000 parents were able to make it here today to let you know how much they appreciate the product that you invented. I can't imagine how proud you must feel reading all of these comments. Good job!

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/3/2009 3:40 PM

    Hi Kate; You're right - the FAA would not have allowed CARES to be certified if it had impacted the use of the tray. So they tested every which way to see if the use of the tray was affected - for instance, did having the red loop behind it cause the tray to pop open in turbulence or a bumpy landing ? Answer: no, it didn't. Did it prevent the person from using his tray? Answer: In no way.The person behind the child sees the smooth red belting of the CARES loop when he lowers his tray during flight, but the functionality of the tray is not affected. During turbulence, as you know, everyone has to stow their trays - once again, the red loop of the CARES in no way impacts the person who needs to stow his tray quickly.We have not received a single complaint from a person who sat behind the child in a CARES about the red loop.

  • Jana
    Jana
    11/3/2009 3:43 PM

    So neat to see Louise on the video showing us how to use this. Go Grandma!!!

  • Michelle
    Michelle
    11/3/2009 5:59 PM

    To several of the comments. I have used my CARES more than I can count at the moment (due to the military and distant family. But Oh how I love it!

    I have to agree that my child does not look to comfortable sometimes (especially sleeping), I have learned to place some "shoulder strap covers" over the straps for his comfort as with a rolled up blanket behind his head. This helps alot!

    Also, as to how the device affects the passenger behind my child: I have found that usually the passenger is intrigued by the device and offers me assistance in securing it. From that passenger's point-of-view the straps are only seen when they lower their tray, and is in no way an inconvience to them.

    I love my CARES. The only issues I have ever had was in the early uses, when flight attendants were not yet educated. But as instructed by the CARES manual I familiarized myself with the FAA approval tag, and I was good-to-go. Now almost 3 years after I orignally purchased my CARES, I am finding that I am no longer the only passenger on the plane using CARES.

    I highly recommend this product. Thank you Louise Stoll for making my life a bit easier.

    Michelle

  • DJ
    DJ
    11/3/2009 7:42 PM

    I’ll add my endorsement for the CARES system. I’ve used it several times with my young boys. I’d never go back to hauling a car seat through the airport. This takes up hardly any room, and if gives me peace-of-mind that my child is as secure as can be. Once you set it up once, future times will be quite easy. Highly recommended.

  • Louise
    Louise – Special Guest
    11/3/2009 7:46 PM

    You guys have made my day! Louise

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    11/3/2009 11:35 PM

    I have used CARES with my daughter so many times that she won’t fly without it! It keeps her in her seat and sitting upright just as she does in her car seat. I highly recommend the CARES system.

  • tdread
    tdread
    11/4/2009 11:38 AM

    This is one of the best investment i have bought for my child. My daughter feels like a “big girl” when traveling in the plane like everyone else. We got lots of “oh’s and ah’s” from the flight attendants and passengers. It’s easy to secure and best of all it’s FAA approved!

  • Anya Clowers, RN
    Anya Clowers, RN
    1/26/2010 11:56 AM

    I have traveled with my son all over the world with the CARES harness. It has truly changed the way we travel!

    I will never forget the moment I first heard about the CARES harness. I had sweat dripping down my back as I tried to get my car seat to fit into the airplane seat while everyone else was boarding and my toddler wandered off.

    An empathetic flight attendant told me about a 1 lb. harness she saw that morning on tv. We have never looked back. I have met the inventor, Louise Stoll, numerous times since and always thank her for making it so easy to keep my child safe!

    I loved the CARES harness so much I put a photo of my son in the harness on the cover of my book! Thank you again Louise.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/26/2010 1:19 PM

    @Anya - thank you for stopping by. That is a great endorsement for this wonderful product and for Louise, too!

    Anyone interested in Anya's book can check it out here: "Jet With Kids"

  • Kathey
    Kathey
    1/31/2010 11:02 AM

    I would like to know why this costs sooo much? 75 dollars for a few straps? That is just way to much. Good idea tho!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/31/2010 2:22 PM

    Hi Kathey!

    Thank you for your comment.

    CARES is manufactured exclusively by AmSafe Aviation, the foremost manufacturer of aviation seatbelts and pilot restraints in the world. We, for one, are glad that Louise didn't set her standards lower. We are so accustomed to the influx of cheap products that are produced with underpaid labor, inferior components and lack of originality that it can be hard to appreciate the real pricetag of true innovation using quality products.

    Consumers demanding/expecting lower priced goods can cause businesses to look for cheaper ways to produce an item not always in the best interest of the end result. Jules, Daily Grommet's founder, put out this essay on the dangers of today's discount culture. Five examples why discount culture is killing our economy. It's a very interesting blog post.

    We have heard stories of friends going in together to buy this item. That's a great idea since people usually would need this item at different times.

    Thank you for stopping by!

  • Frequent Flier w two children
    Frequent Flier w two children
    3/29/2011 1:23 PM

    We (family of four) love this product. We bought it when our second daughter was born because we just couldn't see lugging two carseats through the airport. Our oldest loved it, her special seat belt. We boarded one SW flight and the flight attendant said, "Wow, great we were trained on these, but I have never seen one used. May I install it for you? The airlines should rent or sell these onboard." Now our younger daughter is ready for her own seat, we are skipping the carseat and going straight to CARES.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    3/29/2011 1:37 PM

    @Frequent Flier w two children: It's great that you discovered these in time to get year's of use out of them. Thanks for stopping by to share your story.

  • Wondering ...
    Wondering ...
    5/18/2011 11:31 AM

    Hi - I'm wondering what the passenger behind you will think, especially if they want to use their tray table??

    Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    5/18/2011 11:58 AM

    @Wondering ...: Michelle, above, who is a CARES user offered this insight:

    "Also, as to how the device affects the passenger behind my child: I have found that usually the passenger is intrigued by the device and offers me assistance in securing it. From that passenger's point-of-view the straps are only seen when they lower their tray, and is in no way an inconvience to them. "

  • Brenda Fisher
    Brenda Fisher
    1/3/2012 3:24 PM

    I'm wondering why this couldn't be used in an automobile? This would be an excellent help to not have that big bulky carseat expecially when you are trying to fit 5 children in a 7 passenger vehicle. Many times the big bulky carseats do not allow the usage of all available seatbelts in the vehicle.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/3/2012 4:19 PM

    @Brenda Fisher: It would be great to provide a solution for parents of multiple young children so that they could all fit safely and securely and make use of all seats available. Right now, most state laws are very specific about what types of devices have been shown to provide the safest environment for children in an accident. With more development and testing, I bet a less bulky solution could be on the horizon.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.