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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Would You Use a CARES?

    My son is just turned 3yrs and is about 42lbs and 42" (definitely over 40"). We will be flying cross country and have a car seat ready for him on the ground. Is he really okay to sit in the plane without a car seat or even the CARES? He is only 2" over the CARES limit imposed by the FAA and I would feel more comfortable if he had something more than just the normal airplane seat belt but don't want to bring our Frontier.

    I am tempted to buy the CARES and use it as I don't think a flight attendant would go to the trouble of actually measuring him but I want to make sure that's safe.

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  3. #2
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    You may find his torso is too tall. My daughter barely fit at 38". It's highly build-dependent.

    You should also be aware that it doesn't tighten the belt, which may or may not fit depending on build, and doesn't prevent unbuckling.

    Other than that if you won't need a seat on the other end, it's a potentially reasonable, though not necessarily that helpful, choice. (If you need a car seat on the other end, you should always use it on the flight. For future reference of others reading this.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    Thanks for the info. He is all torso so it's probably not a good bet.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    At 42 lbs, the airplane's lap belt should fit him. I don't think I'd mess with CARES since he's over the height limit and it won't prevent unbuckling. Given that you've got a carseat waiting when you arrive, I think your best bet is to sit right next to him and just make sure he's not fiddling with the buckle during the flight.

  6. #5
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    One of my daughters didn't fit the plane belt at 47 lbs and 7 1/2 years. It's all down to build. (Another fit it at 37 lbs and 3 1/2 years.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    He's long and lean so we'll see, I guess!

  8. #7
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    Long and lean was the kid that didn't fit at 47 lbs.

    I could put my hand sideways between her and the belt. It was horrible and she was terrified.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    One of my daughters didn't fit the plane belt at 47 lbs and 7 1/2 years. It's all down to build.
    Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a child that old not fit the airplane's lap belt! I do believe you, I just haven't seen it.

    This is a guess but I wonder, when you're finding a big gap between the child and the fully tightened aircraft lap belt, whether it may be a case of the seat's lumbar padding being shot. This could cause the child to slip further back into the seatback than they normally would and the lap belt not to fit as tightly as it should. In which case I'd try switching around seats to see whether someone else in your family or sitting adjacent may have a better-padded seat in which the belt fits your child properly.

  10. #9
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    They were brand new redone seats. Wasn't the seat for sure.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Would You Use a CARES?

    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupqueen View Post
    Long and lean was the kid that didn't fit at 47 lbs.

    I could put my hand sideways between her and the belt. It was horrible and she was terrified.
    Given that info I think DS would definitely be more comfortable in his car seat, so we may just have to lug the Nautilus on board with us. It's that or the Frontier and I think the Nautilus is a bit lighter.

    Too bad the FAA doesn't allow something like a Bubblebum, seems like that would be ideal for those kids too big for the CARES yet to small for the seat/lap belt.

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