Frequently Asked Questions
CARES™ Child Aviation Restraint
Q. Does CARES provide as much protection for my child as a car seat?
A. Yes. In rigorous dynamic tests conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), CARES, a totally new harness type child safety device, was certified as an ELOS – Equivalent Level of Safety – to a car seat, the only harness type safety device with this certification.
Q. At what age can a child use CARES?
A. Children must be at least 1 year old, weigh 22 pounds, and be able to sit “front facing” to use CARES.
Q. What are the upper weight and height limits for children to use CARES?
A. The upper limit of the CARES certification is 44 lbs and 40 inches in height.
Q. Can CARES be used during take off and landing?
A. Yes. CARES is FAA PMA approved for all phases of flight: taxiing, take off, turbulence and, landing. Extend-ITs.com joins the FAA in urging all passengers to remain “buckled in” whenever they are in their seats. This applies to children in the CARES aviation harness as well.
Q. When flying with children do you have to buy a ticket to use CARES?
A. A child must be in his/her own seat to use CARES. Airlines require all children age 2 and older to have their own tickets and to be in their own seats.
Q. What other countries have certified CARES?
A. CARES has been certified by the UK (England, Scotland, North Ireland and Wales), Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Q. Which international airlines permit CARES?
A. All of the airlines of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK permit CARES on board.
Customer service representatives of the following airlines report that the FAA certification of CARES is honored by them and that CARES can be used:
CARES owners report that they have also used CARES with much supportive interest from flight attendants on the following airlines:
Q. Do I need permission from my airline to use CARES?
A. No. CARES is FAA PMA approved for use on all U.S. registered airlines. Because CARES is a new product and is a unique harness type child safety restraint, some airline personnel may not yet be familiar with it . Parents have the right to bring CARES on board for their children and airline personnel may not prevent you from using CARES for your child. This is a Federal Aviation Administration – not an individual airline - decision and it applies to all U.S. airlines for both domestic and international flights.
Q. What should I do if I am challenged when I try to use CARES for my child?
A. Show airline personnel the FAA certification label sewn either inside or on the front of the red CARES loop. The following documents can provide more information:
Important Note: While the CARES system is fully FAA PMA approved, in the unlikely event that there is any difficulty with a member of the flight crew comply with the flight attendant's instructions. ALWAYS. A flight attendant's instructions have the weight of law behind them and you can get yourself tossed off the plane and/or arrested if you don't comply promptly. If time permits you could discuss it with the flight attendant, show him/her the CARES certification label, etc., but always in a friendly, cooperative manner and always making it clear that you will comply with their instructions. You may technically be correct but do you really want to risk being deplaned or worse? Sort it out after the flight.
Q. If my child is large enough to use CARES but is not yet 2 years old do I still need to buy him a ticket in order to use CARES?
A. To insure that you will have a seat for your child, you must buy a ticket. If the plane is not crowded and your child is under 2, you may be able to use an empty seat.
Q. What if I need my car seat on the other end of the plane trip?
A. Just check your car seat through as luggage, pick it up on the other end of the flight and enjoy your airport time and air travel hassle free with the CARES aviation child safety harness.
Q. Can I use CARES in my car?
A. Absolutely NOT. CARES is NOT certified for use in automobiles and does not work with a three-point (shoulder) harness. NEVER TRY TO USE CARES IN YOUR CAR.
Q. Who manufactures CARES?
A. CARES is manufactured by AmSafe Aviation, the foremost manufacturer of airplane seat belts and other aviation safety restraints. (Next time you’re in a plane, turn over the buckle on your own seat belt and chances are it was manufactured by AmSafe.) CARES uses the same industrial-strength materials and is designed to the same engineering standards as all AmSafe Aviation safety equipment.
Q. How will I learn how to use CARES?
A. CARES is very easy to use. An instructional DVD and card is included in the carrying case for CARES. It takes about one minute to learn how to install and use CARES and an installation label is sewn to the CARES harness itself.
Q. Can CARES be used on a private or corporate aircraft?
A. Yes, providing that the seat is front facing. CARES requires a belt across the lap.
Q. Does CARES affect the operation of the tray behind the child’s seat?
A. No. Ensuring that CARES did not adversely affect the functionality of the tray was an important FAA criteria for certifying CARES. The tray is lowered for only a minute while the red webbing loop is adjusted around the seat, and then is closed and locked in place, covering up the CARES loop. CARES does not affect the functioning or use of the tray.
NOTE: In some older style seats found occasionally on small planes, the tray fits into a plastic cavity with recessed sides. In these the CARES red loop, when pulled taut, could prevent the tray from closing securely. In this case, the CARES loop should be installed around the seat and OVER the stowed tray for taxiing, turbulence, take off, and landing. (See FAA Advisory Circular 120-87A "Use of Child Restraints on Aircraft" section of this website.)
Q. Can CARES be used in Business class and First class seats?
A. CARES fits on virtually all Economy, Business, and First Class seat