In between CARES requirements?



I'll be flying with my 3.5 year old in December. The car seat will be at our destination.

I initially thought CARES was the way to go but he's already 42". Unfortunately, he's also only 34 pounds.

Assuming he's still well under 40 lbs by the time we fly, would we be better off using CARES anyway or just the lap belt? It's just a 2-hour flight, no connections.

He does sit quietly and so far doesn't try to unbuckle anything.



The FAA recommends a car seat for kids under 40 pounds. However, if it were me, I would likely go without if I were in your situation. My 4.5 year old was about that size when we flew once and he did fine in the seatbelt. If you already have a lightweight harness seat, I'd consider taking that even though you don't need the seat at your destination.


New member
I'm pretty sure we used our Cares harness over the height limit. If you have one already I'd probably go ahead and use it. If you're wondering whether or not to buy one I'd probably skip it and just use the lap belt on the plane.

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